WASHINGTON, March 3 (Xinhuanet) -- A study by Indian and American researchers finds the soot from home cooking in the air may be a major factor of climate change in South Asia.
The study to be published Friday in the journal Science shows the burning of wood, agricultural waste and animal manure for cooking is the largest source of black carbon in the air over South Asia.
The effect of the soot in the air over the Indian Ocean is some10 times that of the greenhouse gases, which are mainly from industrial activities, according to the study, led by C. Venkataraman of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.
Researchers said the pollution causes the air to absorb more sunlight, warming the atmosphere and cooling the surface beneath. And this can lead to changes in rainfall patterns.
The researchers find cooking fires account for 42 percent of the black soot in the air in that region, while burning fossil fuels contributes 25 percent.
"We therefore suggest that the control of these emissions through cleaner cooking technologies, in addition to reducing health risks to several hundred million users, could be of crucialimportance to climate change mitigation in South Asia," said the report. Enditem