NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Global soot pollution levels. Map of the world showing the distribution of soot (black carbon) in the Earth's atmosphere over five days in 2007. Soot is formed by incomplete combustion of fossils fuels and biomass. Soot has an effect on the climate, as it absorbs sunlight in the atmosphere and causes rises in air temperatures. High concentrations of soot are seen over Asia, where China and India have highly polluting industries and cooking and heating uses wood or coal. The soot concentration is also highest in the northern hemisphere due to more people living there compared to the southern hemisphere. This data is from 31 January to 4 February 2007.
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