Future of the Environment

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

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

Victoria Masterson

Senior Writer, Formative Content

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Future of the Environment

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

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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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Future of the EnvironmentAir Pollution

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