Brown carbon ‘tarballs’ found in Himalayan atmosphere

News: Study has found that nearly 28% of particles collected from the air samples from a research station in the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau were tarballs.



  • Tarballs: They are small light-absorbing, carbonaceous particles formed from Brown Carbon due to burning of biomass or fossil fuels that deposit on snow and ice.
  • Where did Tarballs come from? The study has indicated that the tarballs were emitted from biomass burning in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
  • Concerns: The percentage of the tarballs increased on days of higher levels of pollution and could contribute to hastening of glacial melt and global warming.


Additional Facts:

  • Brown Carbon: It is the brown smoke released by the combustion of organic matter.It coexists with black carbon when released in the atmosphere.
  • Black carbon: It is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel and biomass.