So-called "black carbon" could cause up to 60% of the current warming effect of carbon dioxide, the Guardian reported US researchers as
Professors Greg Carmichael and V Ramanathan put together data from satellites, aircraft and surface instruments. They concluded that its
effect in the atmosphere is around 0.9 watts per square metre, the report said, considerably higher than the estimate of between 0.2 and
0.4 watts in last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Soot also has a damaging effect on human health. Around 400,000 people die each year from inhaling soot particles, the report added,
particularly because of indoor cooking on wood and dung stoves in developing countries.