New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
Black carbon is a particle, often in the PM2.5 or ultra-fine size range, which is emitted from combustion sources and is commonly known as soot. In New Zealand most black carbon is emitted from vehicles (especially diesel vehicles), burning wood and coal for home heating, and outdoor burning. Both long and short-term exposure to black carbon is linked to serious health effects, such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death (World Health Organization (WHO), 2013). Black carbon warms the climate globally and regionally because it is efficient at absorbing energy from sunlight. Black carbon also increases ice and snow melt when deposited on these surfaces, darkening them and lowering albedo (proportion of light that is reflected) so they absorb more solar energy (Ramanathan & Carmichael, 2008). More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.