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Global Warming

Wood Smoke and Global Warming:
An Inconvenient Truth

Some people choose to burn wood in the misguided belief that it is somehow “better” for the environment because it isn’t a fossil fuel. Some people even believe that it doesn’t contribute to global warming.

But scientists have recently discovered that particles created by burning wood and other biomass—so called “black carbon”—are actually a major contributor to global warming. The Nobel Prize-winning International Global Panel on Climate Change has stated that black carbon is a significant cause of global warming. Scientists estimate that the black carbon produced by wood burning is the second most significant contributor to global warming.

Black carbon particles in the atmosphere absorb solar heat. This not only heats the atmosphere, but also melts the earth’s snowcaps and glaciers when these particles settle on the ground.

Many scientists now believe that reducing or eliminating wood and other biomass burning to be one of the easiest and most effective ways for us to curb global warming.