Washington Post: Black carbon soot has surpassed methane as a major contributor to human-caused climate change, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Soot is created by diesel engines, wood-fired stoves, the burning of coal, and the like. Whether suspended in Earth’s atmosphere or coating snow and ice, black carbon particles absorb heat and thus can alter regional weather patterns. Reducing the amount of soot in the atmosphere would not only have an immediate cooling effect on the climate but also be beneficial to human health because soot particles cause heart and respiratory problems. The biggest contributor to climate change is still carbon dioxide emissions, however, which also must be reduced to “really solve the long-term climate problem,” said one of the paper’s lead authors, Tami Bond of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.