Future of the Environment

Black carbon is changing the colour of Antarctica’s snow. What is it and where does it come from?

An aerial view shows a plant of Omsktechuglerod company producing carbon black in Omsk.

Black carbon is an air pollutant. Image: REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko

Victoria Masterson
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Future of the Environment

Human presence in Antarctica has surged in recent decades.
Ships and planes ferrying tourists and scientists to Antarctica are increasing the problem of black carbon – an air pollutant that warms the atmosphere and melts ice. Image: Nature Communications / University of Santiago, Chile


What's the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Black Carbon (BC) concentration around research stations and popular tourism destinations is considerable higher than elsewhere in Antarctica.
Snow around research stations and tourist landing sites has black carbon content “considerably above” background levels in other parts of Antarctica. Image: Nature Communications / University of Santiago, Chile

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Related topics:
Future of the EnvironmentAir Pollution
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