Project at a Glance

Title: Black carbon and the regional climate of California

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Bahadur, R.

Contractor: UC San Diego

Contract Number: 08-323

Research Program Area: Climate Change

Topic Areas: Area Sources, Greenhouse Gas Emissions


In California, warmer temperatures, summer water shortages, and increased wildfires have received increasing attention. To address these environmental issues, ARB has adopted the nation's most sweeping global warming plan (Scoping Plan), outlining for the first time how individuals and businesses will have to meet a landmark 2006 law (AB 32) that made the State of California a leader on curbing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Black carbon (BC), as the main light-absorbing component of soot, has also been recognized as one of the largest contributors to the global warming, and tied to the observed regional climate changes. Reducing the positive radiative forcing of short-lived aerosol species such as BC has been suggested as an attractive control strategy for mitigating climate change. The fundamental goal of this interdisciplinary proposal is to comprehensively assess the radiative forcing BC and its climate impacts in California. The approach consists of both observational data and observationally constrained model assessments. The results of this research project will provide valuable insights on the role of BC aerosols in California’s climate, and help to remove impedance to policy-making decisions for mitigating the climate effects of BC emissions.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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