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Cars Emit More Black Carbon Than Previously Thought

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the grand-circle-of-nature dept.

Earth 292

First time accepted submitter LilaG writes "Gasoline-burning engines put out twice as much black carbon as was previously measured, according to new field methods tested in Toronto. The tiny particles known as black carbon pack a heavy punch when it comes to climate change, by trapping heat in the atmosphere and by alighting atop, and melting, Arctic ice. With an eye toward controlling these emissions, researchers have tracked black carbon production from fossil fuel combustion in gasoline-burning cars and diesel-burning trucks. Until this study was published [abstract of paywalled article], gas-burning vehicles had been thought to be relatively minor players."

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292 comments

Here it comes. (4, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155921)

Everybody put on your flame retardant suits in preparation for the inevitable flame war between global warming believers and deniers, which will almost certainly drown out discussion of the technical specifics of the referenced materials.

Re:Here it comes. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155935)

It's not that I deny global warming. It's just that I'm all for it.

Re:Here it comes. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156077)

I'm not a denier, or a supporter - I just think it's inevitable.

China and India are going to have the last word on this issue. I'll leave it to them to fix it. Baring a pandemic, it's going to be their world anyway. This is neither good nor bad, it just is.

Re:Here it comes. (-1, Troll)

arem-aref (158417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156589)

exactly, these goofy fucks don't get it. globull warming is the best thing since sliced bread!

Re:Here it comes. (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157031)

Man, I hope you're young enough to eat those words and choke on them.

Re:Here it comes. (2, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157177)

Bah. I, for one, look forward to any sort of global warming, provided the warmest region does not exceed 160 F in the shade.

All I need are for those polar ice caps to melt, I am *this* close to having a beach on my front lawn. Mind you, we'll lose New Jersey & California in the process, but that may be a welcome trade (I get rid of Jersey Shore and the MPAA / RIAA in one go).

Who's with me?

Re:Here it comes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156019)

I would be willing to bet that, say, a new Honda actually cleans its emissions, whereas anything from the Big 3 just pumps those particulates. It's the difference between having a corporate ethic that includes both profit and responsibility, rather than a motivation to suck as much money out of as many people's pockets in as short a time as possible.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156071)

I would be willing to bet that, say, a new Honda actually cleans its emissions, whereas anything from the Big 3 just pumps those particulates. It's the difference between having a corporate ethic that includes both profit and responsibility, rather than a motivation to suck as much money out of as many people's pockets in as short a time as possible.

Some Big 3 products have a blower to dilute the exhaust gas so that it passes inspection.

Re:Here it comes. (5, Informative)

Kurlon (130049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157463)

Almost all gas engines use smog pumps these days, including Honda. The pump isn't there to dilute the gases, it's to supply fresh oxygen to the mix to allow remaining unburnt gas to finish combusting so the catalytic converter can deal with it.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

arem-aref (158417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156601)

if you're not almost dead from starving yourself, walking everywhere you go, saving every last calorie  and are still procreating, then shut the fuck up.

Re:Here it comes. (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156641)

You either forgot to finish with "God Bless America", or "...you tree-hugging socialist."
I know you had a point, but fuck, man, learn to make it. Has the alcohol killed off your capacity to fully express your rage, or is the thought so fleeting that it's gone by the time your spleen-venting is over?

Re:Here it comes. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157121)

Contrary to popular myth, wrapping your posts in <tt> tags does not make you look clever or creative. In fact, I have it on good authority that it actually makes you look like a pretentious moron.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157339)

I've always thought that making your posts harder-to-read and distinct, was more egotistical arsehole.

Re:Here it comes. (5, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156047)

True global warming "believers" don't believe, they looked at the available evidence and weighed the opinions of experts and came to a conclusion based on facts and consensus.

I don't know which side you fall on, so this isn't directed to you, but my personal theory is that people who dismiss the international scientific consensus on global warming have faith that it's not happening, and figure that the "believers" are also arguing based on faith. It's the same as evolution - creationists don't believe in science, so they think that the arguments they fight are based on belief.

I refuse to play into this. Undoubtedly there are people that "believe" in global warming, and they tend to do things like buy Priuses to replace their 25 MPG Toyotas.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156293)

At this time you have one mod of -1 overrated. You are a logged in user with a default of 1. I'm sure people disagree with you but it is unfortunate that they use a mod rather than a rebuttal. You didn't call anyone a moron or an idiot. You merely stated your perspective.

Posting anonymously because I hate people who complain about mod points.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156389)

The mod is probably because the GP, despite their stated refusal, is clearly "playing into this". I mean, taking a side in a debate (yes, i know - trying to be civil here), no matter how one-sided the poster obviously thinks the debate is, is really the definition of "playing into this".

HTH

Re:Here it comes. (3, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156479)

I can't help but wonder if there are hordes of AGW deniers with sockpuppets at the ready. The way anybody criticizing them gets modded down quickly first and then recovers slowly by getting modded back up by reasonable people suggests this.

Re:Here it comes. (1, Flamebait)

BenJCarter (902199) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156449)

What is a true global warming "believer"? How do you prove scientific "consensus"? Consensus is a political term. As such, it should have miniscule weight, at best, in climate science.

Re:Here it comes. (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157049)

Consensus in science is when most of the scientists in a field (except for the crackpots) quite arguing about something because they have nothing to argue about. They all agree on the particulars of a point.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157187)

Most != many. It's more along the lines of the prevailing theory of the day...the point being that the theories are often mutable.

And again, as a scientist, the public sees more of a consensus that what actually exists in most fields of science.

But then, feel free to argue that I'm wrong. I have a hypothesis that you will.

Consensus is also when groupthink happens (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157397)

Or when you hit the limits of knowledge at the time. Good example would be Newton's laws as applied to planetary motion. Newton was able to work out a great deal about gravity on a universal scale, and how bodies worked in a two body system. However it broke down when he tried to apply it to the multi-body of the solar system. So he invokes god for the first and only time in the Principia "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

This remained the scientific consensus on the matter. Newton was more or less The Guy when it came to physics. In two books (Principia and Opticks) he did more to advance the understanding of physics than more or less anyone before or hence. So this remained what scientists though for many years. You could explain gravity in terms of a two body problem, but the complexity of the heavens? God did it.

Up until Laplace. He worked out a method for figuring it all out. He could explain the stability of the solar system without invoking god. When asked by Napoleon about why he didn't mention god he said "I had no need of that hypothesis." (for a great talk on all this watch Dr. Tyson's "The god of the gaps").

Now the point of all this is that just because there is a general consensus on something, doesn't mean it is right. Doesn't mean it is wrong either, but trying to say something like "only the crackpots would argue with consensus," is silly. There have been things that were the consensus that was believed, until a better theory was proposed and tested.

Feynman also gives a good example of the groupthink type of activity with regards to that Millikan's value for the charge of an electron. To quote:

"It's a little bit off, because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It's interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of the electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bigger than Millikan's, and the next one's a little bit bigger than
that, and the next one's a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

Why didn't they discover that the new number was higher right away? It's a thing that scientists are ashamed of--this history--because it's apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan's, they thought something must be wrong--and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to Millikan's value they didn't look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that."

Right there you can see the effects of a sort of scientific groupthink. "My result is too far off from the accepted value, something must be wrong."

Just keep in mind that science isn't about consensus. That there is a consensus doesn't mean it is right, or wrong. Also be wary when people appeal to consensus, that's what you see in advertisements, not science. When people talk about evolution, they talk about evidence, not consensus.

Re:Here it comes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156499)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

Looks like when I go to the source of the IPCC data there is no measurable global warming, despite admission that the scientists manipulated data to prove there is.

So you outright lied in stating your position, just as Phil Jones did, just as the IPCC did when they said the Himilayan glaciers would completely melt in 30 years, just like Gore did saying corn based ethanol was the solution.

How many complete outright lies have to be thrown into your face before you "look at the available evidence"? Truth is you don't want the truth because you've made your decision without looking at any evidence.

Re:Here it comes. (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156513)

but my personal theory is that people who dismiss the international scientific consensus on global warming have faith that it's not happening, and figure that the "believers" are also arguing based on faith.

You could just ask some real skeptics, the kind who actually do science, why they dismiss the 'scientific consensus.' [wsj.com]

the claim of 97% support is deceptive. The surveys contained trivial polling questions that even we would agree with. Thus, these surveys find that large majorities agree that temperatures have increased since 1800 and that human activities have some impact..... But what is being disputed is the size and nature of the human contribution to global warming.

It drives me crazy when people point to a survey like this that shows 97% consensus, and then say, "therefore scientists all think we should send a hundred billion a year to poor countries [guardian.co.uk]." There's no scientific consensus on that at all, nor is there any consensus that there will be a disaster as a result of AGW. If people even read the questions of the surveys they quote, they would understand this.

Ya I think peopel confuse the argument (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157309)

The problem I see is that someone gets labeled a "denialist" if they don't take everything, part and parcel. If they disagree with anything an advocate says they are a "denialist" and "ignoring science". Well no, because there are different levels to the whole thing. To run it down:

--First there's fact of global warming: That average surface temperature is increasing, outside of known cycles. This is a claim of fact, a claim of an observation about what is. Provided the measurements it is based on are accurate, it isn't up for debate. Only thing you can question is if the measurements are indeed correct.

--Then there's the theory to explain that fact: That the primary or exclusive cause of this warming is an increase in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere due to human emissions. This is the basic theory of global warming. It is a scientific theory, in that it proposes a logical explanation for the relation of the facts at hand. Like all theories, it can be argued. You can agree with all the facts underlying a theory, but disagree with the theory as the explanation because it is incomplete, because it can be falsified, etc.

Now if that's all there was, then ok. However we go on.

--Next there's the assumption/assertion that this change is a net bad thing for humanity. This is not a theory, this is a claim based on some theories and some hypothesis, often with flimsy or no evidence. This isn't a situation where you have a single theory you can evaluate. You have all kinds of claims being made, and also other claims being dismissed or ignored. It is an overall position that the many changes will be a net negative to humanity, even a catastrophe.

--Finally there's the policy/politics of what to do about it: That the only solution is to massively decrease CO2 output and to achieve this we use things like carbon credits and so on. This is not at all in the realm of science, this policy, or politics. There are other suggested solutions that could be debated for their merits, there is question if this solution would even be effective over all. However it is the one that many advocates seem to propose as the One True Way(tm).

So therein lies the problem. Anyone who dares disagree with any part of this is lumped in as a "denialist". Someone could say "I agree with the measurements, and I think they theory of warming is correct. However I disagree it will be a net negative, I think it will be a net positive," and they get labeled as a "denalist," and "anti-science." Someone could even say "I agree it is happening and is a net negative, however I don't think CO2 reduction will help, I think we need to instead spend money to be able to deal with the change, since even if it didn't happen, another non-man made change would anyhow and we need to survive them," and again with the "denialist" and "anti-science" claims.

Hence why people start talking about AGW proponents as being true believers and acting like religious folk. It is this position of "You have to accept and agree with EVERYTHING, otherwise you are a moron/against us/etc." Sorry but that isn't how science works. If you want to talk science you have to limit your debate to scientific theories and facts (remember facts are observations about what is, theories explain the relations of the facts). That doesn't mean you can't talk about what should be done, but you can't claim that the "science" only supports one answer. That's not how it works.

Re:Here it comes. (-1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156735)

True global warming "believers" don't believe, they looked at the available evidence and weighed the opinions of experts and came to a conclusion based on facts and consensus.

I'm afraid your wrong on a number of counts.

First, most global warming believers probably hold that belief because that is what teacher said, or that is what they read in the paper, or on the web, and not through an independent review of data, papers, and reports. Although scientists and engineers may find the hard data more approachable, I expect that most of them are still at a casual level of familiarity with the material, not truly informed, let alone expert.

Second, there is something approaching consensus among scientists that the earth has gotten warmer in some measure. That doesn't mean that the data is not without disputes and controversies, including but not limited to data normalization techniques, sources, and transparency.

Third, it is trivially proven that there is no genuine consensus among scientists [climatedepot.com] that the warming is caused by humanity, or what to do about it. There is at best a preponderance of opinion among scientists that it is caused by humanity. It isn't necessarily clear how strongly those views are held.

Now, this is before we consider the troubling revelations of Climategate.

ClimateGate: The Fix is In [realclearpolitics.com]
Peer Pressure [nationalreview.com]
Peer-Review Thuggery [nationalreview.com]
Scientists Behaving Badly [nationalreview.com]
Without candour, we can't trust climate science [newscientist.com]
Leaked Emails Raise Questions About NYT’s ClimateGate Coverage [commentarymagazine.com]

Climategate 2.0 [wsj.com]

Last week, 5,000 files of private email correspondence among several of the world's top climate scientists were anonymously leaked onto the Internet. Like the first "climategate" leak of 2009, the latest release shows top scientists in the field fudging data, conspiring to bully and silence opponents, and displaying far less certainty about the reliability of anthropogenic global warming theory in private than they ever admit in public.

Climategate 2.0: Fresh trove of embarrassing emails [theregister.co.uk]

Analysis There was always an element of tragedy in the first “Climategate” emails, as scientists were under pressure to tell a story that the physical evidence couldn’t support – and that the scientists were reluctant to acknowledge in public. The new email archive, already dubbed “Climategate 2.0”, is much larger than the first, and provides an abundance of context for those earlier changes.

“I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story,” a civil servant wrote to Phil Jones in 2009. “They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.”

Having elevated global warming to the most dramatic, urgent and over-riding issue of the day, bureaucrats, NGOs, politicians and funding agencies demanded that the scientists must keep the whole bandwagon rolling. It had become too big to stop.

“The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” laments one scientist, Peter Thorne. While Professor Jagadish Shukla, a lead IPCC author, IGES founder, and one of the most senior climate experts writes that, “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.”

With the release of FOIA2011.zip, the cat’s now well and truly out of the bag.

To their credit, some of the climate scientists realised the dangers of the selective approach politicians demanded, which meant cherry-picking evidence to make it suitably dramatic, and quietly hiding caveats. “We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest,” pleads Thorne, in another email from 2005. Thorne noted that a telltale "signature" of greenhouse gas warming was absent. “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

Re:Here it comes. (2)

blau (759804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157189)

Third, it is trivially proven that there is no genuine consensus among scientists [climatedepot.com] that the warming is caused by humanity, or what to do about it. There is at best a preponderance of opinion among scientists that it is caused by humanity. It isn't necessarily clear how strongly those views are held.

From the link: "The well over 1,000 dissenting scientists are almost 20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers."

Oh wow!!! LOL!

You can tell that the guy who wrote this was a producer for Rush Limbaugh's show.

Re:Here it comes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157125)

"Consensus" has nothing to do with science. /the scientific method

Re:Here it comes. (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157223)

"True global warming "believers" don't believe, they looked at the available evidence and weighed the opinions of experts and came to a conclusion based on facts and consensus."

As do a fair number of people on the other side (review the facts, and come up wanting). To believe that your side is made up of all the scientists, and the other side purely people with "faith" is to deny that the other side, in an objective manner, could possibly have any merit to their argument. It's the same argument religious fanatics use when screaming about how their god(s) are the only one(s), and declaring that anyone who ventures anything other than that belief is wrong, and thus not worth listening to.

"I don't know which side you fall on, so this isn't directed to you, but my personal theory is that people who dismiss the international scientific consensus on global warming have faith that it's not happening, and figure that the "believers" are also arguing based on faith."

You use that word, consensus, and I do not think you understand what it means. There have, many times, in the due course of history, been scientific consensuses about any number of topics; a number of them have, thus far, been proven, and a number of them, thus far, proven wrong. As such, that word is not a form of currency that gives your argument or side any worth.

"I refuse to play into this. Undoubtedly there are people that "believe" in global warming, and they tend to do things like buy Priuses to replace their 25 MPG Toyotas."

Agreed. If the numbers and models for global warming are indeed, accurate, we would have to be doing a lot more than switching to hybrid / electric vehicles to stop it. To get things under control, you'd have to kill off a fair amount of your own population, as attempts to adjust lifestyles would probably come up short. Directing your countries nuclear arms against your most populous cities, with mandatory sterilization for three quarters of the remaining populace, and a complete shutdown of international commerce / travel might become necessary.

However, the human genome wouldn't survive this change. That is to say, the human genome right now is a bit fragile, thus wholesale elimination of various members, even troublemakers & criminals, would not serve the long term interest (preserving the human race). But I digress, this information will probably never make it to the people who need to hear it the most.

Re:Here it comes. (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157473)

The problem is that there are "believers" on both sides of the fence. So you've got the Big Oil-faithful, and you've got the Magic Carbon Pixie-faithful. The former are probably wrong, the latter are probably right for the wrong reasons.

The global warming believers - when they're not gibbering on about homeopathy and astrology - will go on at length about how over the past decade we've seen record high temperatures in summer. Of course, because they're only parrotting what they've read online or heard from other global warming believers, they don't know (or care) that we've also seen record *low* temperatures in winter. Well, we've seen some pretty low summer temperatures, too, depending on where you look, but "ZOMG CARBON!"

I wonder if they also believe their car can accelerate to 1000mph, because they only measure the time it spends accelerating and not slowing down?

Re:Here it comes. (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156073)

Everybody put on your flame retardant suits in preparation for the inevitable flame war between global warming believers and deniers, which will almost certainly drown out discussion of the technical specifics of the referenced materials.

Fortunately, the methodology is terribly sloppy anyway, so there's nothing serious to discuss. The researchers directly measured 30 trucks. Then they measured the total cloud of particles downwind of the traffic. There was more carbon than they'd expect given the measured value for trucks and the estimated value for cars. Therefore the cars must be emitting much more on average. Oddly, they never directly measured any cars. The idea that the additional black carbon might be due to some other source besides the cars was apparently not considered.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156129)

Thank you for your sanity. Both the EPA and the design engineer know exactly how much PM is coming out the pipe for every model. Every company doing engines of any sort has spent billions or tens of billions on meeting emissions requirements.

By the way, I've read some interesting speculation that limiting soot emissions actually speeds up global warming. Nobody is saying we should pollute more, just that clean air doesn't obscure sunlight as much and therefore retards global warming. This was speculated because global warming didn't seem to kick in as fast as it should have in the 19th century. Anyways, I don't remember the full story, so take it with a grain of salt.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156799)

No, you're 100% correct. Sulfate aerosols have a cooling effect, since they reflect incoming solar radiation, while having no effect on outgoing infrared radiation. The push to improve air quality standards is actually increasing the effect of global warming.

Re:Here it comes. (4, Interesting)

micheas (231635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156215)

Although it is possible that the other source was the tires from the vehicles.

I have never seen an explanation of tire and asphalt wear that seemed like it accurately explained what is happening to the rubber compounds in the tire, as the road does not build up, but rather wear down.

The emissions from gasoline engines in modern motor vehicles is amazingly low, so tires and lubricants might actually be noticeable. But this is just speculation, sort of like the conclusions of the report.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156679)

That's because you didn't look. A nice paper was published about 7-10 years ago. And, the happened to be a post on slashdot about it I believe.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156869)

> Although it is possible that the other source was the tires from the vehicles.

Or the breaks. Both wear down, and both wear carbon. You don't need a scientific study to understand that it is going somewhere. Assuming it is not burned, it would most likely end up as carbon black.

And there are a few studies on this topic, it is just not as "hot" as engine emissions.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156507)

One KNOWN example of this 'sloppy' science is the amount of carbon black, soot, sulfur and nitric oxides, etc has been known for decades - and records exist showing the particulate polution from CARGO SHIPS that STILL use 'bunker oil' for their fuel. This is just about the nastiest, bottom-of-the-barrel fuel that can be burned to power the ship's boilers.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157385)

Well, with the Baltic Dry Index [investmenttools.com] (which is a measure of shipping costs) being at a 10 year low because there are more ships touting for business than goods to be shipped, you're not going to see bunker oil replaced as a fuel any time soon.

Much like jet fuel, this source of pollution is inviolable in the eyes of the political class, because it is too important to the way the economy works. They'll push gasoline to $10 / gallon (diesel is already almost there in the UK) before they even consider making it more expensive to move goods or fat, well paid arses around the world.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156159)

Everybody put on your flame retardant suits in preparation for the inevitable flame war between global warming believers and deniers, which will almost certainly drown out discussion of the technical specifics of the referenced materials.

You forgot the group that argues that
(a) pollution and global warming is real and not just a communist conspiracy but
(b) green energy is unreliable and the only feasible solution will be to put a nuclear reactor in every car.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156175)

The problem isn't whether or not the Carbon is being emitted. The real issue is whether this is anything to worry about or not. to get alarmed over this silliness, you have to accept a whole (mostly flawed) model, rife with fraud, distortion and political trickery.

Okay, so cars emit carbon dioxide. The debate should be whether this is actually a bad thing or not, rather than the anti-scientific hysteria that the Climate Change Church of the Holy Derivatives Scheme tries to ram down our throats, using ex-oil heirs and big wall street bankers to tell us how they need more and we need less, because the earth just seems to "work that way".

I think there are a lot more worrying chemicals that come out of our exhaust pipes than "carbon dioxide": Ones that actually have detrimental effects to human and plant life. Carbon Dioxide is literal plant food, and half of the life cycle on the planet. Carbon Dioxide breeds plant growth, which in turn generates more oxygen in response.

Then again, the earth is flat! Anyone who disagrees with the flat earth is a Flat Earth Denier! Heretic! How dare you go against the almighty consensus that the earth is flat!!!!

Re:Here it comes. (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156347)

Then again, the earth is flat! Anyone who disagrees with the flat earth is a Flat Earth Denier! Heretic! How dare you go against the almighty consensus that the earth is flat!!!!

I find this to be the most interesting argument to go against modern scientific consensus. The reason I find it interesting is that intellects and scientest have known the earth is round for a very long time. It was mostly the Church and the public that thought the earth was flat. The idea that the earth is round [wikipedia.org] dates back 2600 years and 1700 years ago it was a given.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156821)

I see why you posted as AC, because your argument sucks. The carbon cycle is a balance, and increasing atmospheric CO2 throws it off terribly. Plants and vegetation are less than 50% of the carbon sinks, the ocean actually takes up more CO2 than plants. CO2 interacts with calcium and is stored in the ocean, however, this reduces the pH (which is slightly basic, now). When the ocean starts to become acidic, this mechanism will shut off, and the ocean will no longer be a sink of CO2, so not only will CO2 concentrations continue to rise, the yearly increase will shoot way up.

Re:Here it comes. (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157145)

Your post consists of pure fantasies. You're seriously never bothered to verify the actual science behind any of that, right?

The carbon cycle is a balance

No. (Source, Geocarb III and others)

When the ocean starts to become acidic

Which is not projected to ever happen, by any scientist. The ocean pH varies by an order of magnitude more than the slight change we _think_ we might've seen over the last few hundred years.

Re:Here it comes. (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157155)

Actually there shouldn't be any, well if EITHER side had a brain which I'm starting to doubt. this is actually fixable, we simply need a better filter on the exhaust. Of course that is gonna take time and money to make but we managed to get lead out the gas i'm sure we can get carbon black out too.

But for those for AGW you are about to get a big dose of "be careful what you wish for" as it looks like before the election President....ya know, I want to say Dumbass but that ain't really fair to Bush, I mean Bush was a frat party boy dumbass but at least you got the feeling he believed what he said, even if it was something incredibly stupid. Obama is just plain evil, the kind of slimy backstabbing "When I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops" politician. Anyway it looks like all the bribes AIPAC has thrown at Dear Leader is gonna pay off before the election by dragging us into a war with Iran, which..what does that make? Is it 4 or 5 wars in as many years? I swear at this rate we are gonna beat Hitler on number of fronts at the same time. And no that's not a Godwin since nobody is being called a Nazi, its simply comparing how many wars you can fight at the same time.

Well when that happens folks you won't have to worry about AGW anymore because when gas hits $8 a gallon you'll be too busy worrying about food riots, as it'll take what was left of the economy and tell it to think about the rabbits as it gets a bullet, right in the back of the head. This kind of shit is why although i thought Palin was a moron "drill baby drill" was a good idea, because as it is a single choke point halfway across the world can throw us into a full blown depression which I think it will. Won't have to worry about carbon black when gas hits $8 a gallon, gotta worry about all the looting and riots when a jug of milk is $10 a gallon and all the poor can't afford to go work their crappy dead end jobs or even feed their kids.

Really hope it don't happen but look at the propaganda folks, its Iraq all over again. Somebody in the halls of power has a serious stiffie for a war with Iran, I'm personally betting its the neocon chickenhawks along with AIPAC, but frankly we have so many war mongers now who the fuck knows. Either way once gas hits $5 a gallon which they are already calling for by summer what's left of the economy is dead, at that price the poor that don't live in the megacities won't be able to afford to go to work, especially in the rural states as it'll cost them more in gas than they get paid. Not like you can take the bus in MS, AR, TN, hell there ain't none, not even taxis in most of those small towns, not that you'll be able to afford taxis when the gas gets that high.

Burning Fossil Fuel Is Bad (2)

DemonicMember (1557097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155933)

I think we all agree on that point, the real debate is if Earth can handle it or not....Personally I wish we would just stop debating the potential effects, and just look for a solution that works.

Re:Burning Fossil Fuel Is Bad (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156443)

There is already a solution electric cars for cleaner cities with far more energy efficient power plants at a distance from the city and able to implement more stringent pollution controls.

I know electric cars will generally be slower and have much lower range making the inconvenient to use but, that's not a negative that's a positive the more inconvenient the less people will tend to use them. So legislate compact, light weight electric vehicles and quite simply ban the toxic infernal combustion engine from metropolitan areas, complete total 100% ban.

All costs will be more than made up by increased property values in cleaner smog free cities and in health savings.

Re:Burning Fossil Fuel Is Bad (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157499)

quite simply ban the toxic infernal combustion engine from metropolitan areas, complete total 100% ban.

So then I'd need to keep two vans on the road, and somehow devise some way to drive both to work just in case I needed to go into the city centre?

Re:Burning Fossil Fuel Is Bad (1)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156947)

Whilst there are industry backed opposition using groups like Heartland so disseminate FUD about the climate change (and science), its going to be a long hard battle because there are loads of people who believe without looking at proof. You can see the effects when deniers say "we didn't cause the global warming" instead realising we are guilty of accelerating it. Usual lack of comprehension due to either "head in sand" or listening to Republican politicians that have shown a complete lack of understanding of science due to their God grovelling

Re:Burning Fossil Fuel Is Bad (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157061)

The debate is not whether the Earth can handle it or not, it's whether human civilization can handle it or not. The only real solution is to stop increasing greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, in the atmosphere. Anything else is just window dressing.

Only cars? (2)

rykin (836525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155945)

Does this mean that the massive polluters, such as airplanes and very large cargo boats are also giving out twice as much black carbon?

You are forgetting one of the biggest .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39155953)

POWER PLANTS.

Re:You are forgetting one of the biggest .... (2)

Barsteward (969998) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156951)

Solved by nuclear power plants if politicians had the balls to get rid of the coal ones

Re:Only cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156027)

What part of gasoline is unclear to you? Bunker fuel and kerosene/aviation fuel are different chemical blends, and burned in different types of engines.

Re:Only cars? (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156075)

SO ... that cargo ship with a 111,143 cubic inch Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine, or that Train running a GM EMD 710 (710 cubic inch V12 diesel) doesn't count?

Don't be an arse

Re:Only cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156123)

Dear Mr. Don't be an arse,

Gasoline is not diesel.

Chuck Testa

Re:Only cars? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156877)

"researchers have tracked black carbon production from fossil fuel combustion in gasoline-burning cars and diesel-burning trucks."

or did you just choose to ignore diesel in that sentence?

Re:Only cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156189)

It's not that they don't count but that they're different enough, the stats can't be calculated using car and truck values.

Re:Only cars? (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156117)

...the scientists compared those data with estimates of total black carbon based on expected black carbon emissions of diesel- and gasoline-burning vehicles.

This paper covers both gasoline and diesel.

Sigh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156131)

Okay, I know to RTFA is unheard of, but

The researchers followed 30 heavy-duty, diesel-burning vehicles and collected samples of their exhaust. They found that the trucks belched out levels of black carbon similar to those documented by prior studies.

So, no. My choice of engine is vindicated once again. Now if I can just get my 300SD back on the road I win. Wastegate's sticking.

Re:Only cars? (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156843)

Cargo ships actually give off the worst exhaust out of anything. When they're in international waters, they burn the dirtiest, cheapest fuel they can find, since there are no emission standards, only to switch to a cleaner fuel when they come to port to meet local environmental standards

Climate change is not the problem with this. (5, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155991)

Why does this treat particulates as only a concern because they contribute to climate change? That's a potential problem, to be sure, but particulate emissions are a much more immediate environmental concern for those breathing them in. If the levels have been underestimated this much, that's a problem for people's health, especially along highways and in cities. Why does climate change have to be the be all and end all of all environmental impact discussions? Is it because it's so contentious and the ongoing feud drives page hits?

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (1, Interesting)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156101)

Estimated? Hell, measured by .5 of actual. What about the places with emissions checks on vehicles? If the findings in this study are true, I want every fucking dime that I've spent on emissions checks over the years back.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156111)

Couldn't really have said it better.

This entire thing with "the only thing bad about X is because of causes global warming" is akin to people looking at March 11, 2011 events in Japan and seeing Fukushima nuclear incident as the only bad thing that happened. Some get so fixated on some issue that they do not see the obviously negative reality staring them in the face. For example, 25,000 dead, cities washed away *yet* it is always like a nuclear power plant caused the tsunami!! And with this story, you have gasoline engines producing significantly more soot than previously believed, yet, it is not an health issue but a climate issue??? Come on!

This soot has as much to do with systematic climate change as the nuclear plant had to do with 25,000 dead and missing in Japan on March 11th.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156249)

If the levels have been underestimated this much, that's a problem for people's health, especially along highways and in cities.

Actually no, if the levels have been underestimated this much, that means the tolerable level of pollution before someone gets cancer is much higher than had been previously calculated. This is such good news, I think I'm going to light myself up a cigar.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (4, Insightful)

introcept (1381101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156481)

Why does this treat particulates as only a concern because they contribute to climate change? That's a potential problem, to be sure, but particulate emissions are a much more immediate environmental concern for those breathing them in. If the levels have been underestimated this much, that's a problem for people's health, especially along highways and in cities. Why does climate change have to be the be all and end all of all environmental impact discussions? Is it because it's so contentious and the ongoing feud drives page hits?

Because a short term, localised and fairly minor reduction in people's health is a much smaller problem than an irreversible change to the climate and biosphere of the entire planet. Even if your only concern is health, people's health will suffer a lot more when they have to deal with economic hardship and resource shortages that could result from climate change.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156787)

This is it exactly. Every time I hear a climate change debate raging, I look out the window and contemplate the ring of brown foulness circling the valley I live in and wonder why we're not talking about that. Forget what rainfall in the Sudan will be in 25 years, we need to get the mainstream focus on what burning fossil fuels is doing to us right now.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156899)

> particulate emissions are a much more immediate environmental concern

Agreed. And I have a potential explanation, too. Every once in a while you will encounter a vehicle that is dragging a black smoke cloud behind it - usually caused by a faulty Diesel engine. Just yesterday I was behind an especially bad example: I thought he was using it as some kind of camouflage - that's how dense it was.

So my theory is that most of the particle emissions come from very few vehicles: maybe some very old ones, but certainly some malfunctioning ones. I know that the EPA has an eye on this problem (the EU seems to be behind as usual), and it may be in the process of being solved for new cars, but in the rolling stock it is certainly an issue.

Re:Climate change is not the problem with this. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157039)

I'm surprised that the impact on climate change was emphasised; in the media here (NL) this is hardly ever mentioned, they usually mention Euro emission standards, and the impact of these emissions on health. In any case, the study claims that emission levels of black carbon may have been underestimated in certain cases, not the average/total measured concentration of carbon in the air.

By the way, the concentration of carbon in the air in densely populated areas has been dropping for over a century, and in many places continues to drop. The switch from coal to hydrocarbons for heating, energy and transportation is the main cause of this; the more recent reduction is caused by the increased efficiency of filters and engines.

Math is hard (1, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39155999)

But remember kids, no matter how often the math is wrong, you're always right to panic. Oh, and elect people who will take your freedoms away in the name of the math du jour.

Re:Math is hard (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156029)

Or better yet, elect people who will put you through a hellish tomorrow to keep the status quo of yesterday, no matter how unsustainable today. Never show fear, and if the math doesn't work out change the numbers.

Re:Math is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156313)

Change the numbers. Isn't that what they were doing in the Climate Change circles?

Re:Math is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156387)

Except the putative claims about such changes were shown to be nothing more than hysteria and overwrought concern by Climate Change opponents seeking to dig up dirt and discredit (rather than disprove) Climate Change.

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156031)

We do more harm to the earth by damage to the filter(s) that should clean harmful substances from the air and water than all the cars on earth.

Feed lots on major rivers, that flow into salt water, that become "dead zones", no longer able to filter the air, or sustain sea life..

Clear cutting rain forests..

Ignoring the decertification of large areas of Africa and Asia.

You could strip the emission controls off of every car on earth and still not equal the harm done by the damage we are doing to the natural filtering mechanisms...

Cars are an easy, LAZY, target.. Almost everyone has one in their driveway, or can see one nearby.. Not everyone has a feedlot between their home and workplace.. Add to that that the industrial food complex seems to have much more lobbying money behind it than the auto industry...

I'm in no way denying global warming. I'm just saying we need to target the actual sources of continuing environmental damage, and not copy the "security theater" we see in our airports.. This is too important an issue to play politics with...

Re:sigh (-1, Flamebait)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156055)

"Ignoring the decertification of large areas of Africa and Asia."

Yes, because things were better for Africans and Asians when they used to be certified.

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156199)

And a wise-ass comment about a spelling error, when the context made the meaning pretty damn clear, helps things so damn much.

(eye-roll)

Re:sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156059)

damn autocorrect..

Desertification

Re:sigh (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156647)

We do more harm to the earth by damage to the filter(s) that should clean harmful substances from the air and water than all the cars on earth.

Feed lots on major rivers, that flow into salt water, that become "dead zones", no longer able to filter the air, or sustain sea life..

Clear cutting rain forests..

Ignoring the decertification of large areas of Africa and Asia.

You could strip the emission controls off of every car on earth and still not equal the harm done by the damage we are doing to the natural filtering mechanisms...

Cars are an easy, LAZY, target.. Almost everyone has one in their driveway, or can see one nearby.. Not everyone has a feedlot between their home and workplace.. Add to that that the industrial food complex seems to have much more lobbying money behind it than the auto industry...

I'm in no way denying global warming. I'm just saying we need to target the actual sources of continuing environmental damage, and not copy the "security theater" we see in our airports.. This is too important an issue to play politics with...

I think you're getting way too excited. Sure, we could do better at not "soiling our own nest", so to speak. I totally agree that reasonable and sane protections against such things as dangerous air pollution levels and the harmful polluting of rivers, lakes, streams, and the oceans with dangerous chemicals and toxins are only reasonable, sensible, and wise. Part of that equation also has to be costs in relation to the results, both as a matter of raw wealth taken from society, and as a matter of loss of individual rights and freedom to government.

Equally prudent is a wise forest and wildlife management program that also is reasonable and sane, following the rough guidelines I outlined above.

Attempting any large scale active-type climate-control plans or "terra-forming" (like pumping something into the atmosphere to actively modify climate) would be extremely ill-advised at this point in the development of our understanding of global climate systems. "Climate science" has only existed in the modern form for what? Thirty years? Forty years? And people really are confident that humans understand enough about such a massive and massively-complex semi-chaotic system as that of the Earth's global climate system that mucking about with it is a good idea? And we're also sure that political forces aren't involved with throwing weight behind certain conclusions and plans while discrediting opposing views to skew results and scientific community opinion to further certain agendas of the politically ambitious and powerful?

Advocating for large, rapid, destabilizing, and economically damaging measures that would negatively affect the standard of living of hundreds of millions of people or more, while contributing to more poverty, suffering, and death among the poorest people is not the way forward. Such plans have been advocated-for by many on the extreme Liberal/Progressive Left that desire the increased central government powers and control, with the subsequent loss of individual freedoms, privacy, decreased living standards, and increased taxes/fees/fines and other costs imposed on people and businesses that it would require to manage and enforce such plans, as a way to advance their particular ideology and increase their personal power, control, and wealth.

The Earth is currently on the upward swing of a warming period after the relatively-recent ice age. If this cycle follows previous cycles to any significant degree, we still have a good way to go to reach the peak of the current warming cycle.

This will happen pretty much no matter what man does.

Perhaps this will help put it into perspective a little: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0aFPXr4n4 [youtube.com]

Strat

Please don't feed the paywalls... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156147)

When you quote a paywall article abstract you encourage those who run the paywall, potentially give them customers, and discourage open publication. Best to indicate that there is an article, but that it is behind a paywall, and if it's ever put out to OPEN peer review, the reference shall be so amended.

Turn off car when stopped at lights (4, Informative)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156173)

Just one more reason I turn my car off instead of idling gas away when I know I'll be stopped for more than 30 seconds--stopped at a red light, waiting for someone, etc. The break even point (idling vs. gas used when re-starting car and offsetting battery drain) is around 10 seconds, I'd previously heard up to 20 seconds.

This makes even more sense in several US cities I've visited, where some red lights last for 1-3 minutes!

If this is too pooh-pooh environmentalist BS for you, then approach it from a selfish point of view--you're wasting gas and therefore money. If you're idling for 5 minutes a day, after a year that's 10 gallons wasted gas a year if you have a small-engine car, or 20 gallons for a V8. Do the math with your area's current gas prices, and sure, $30-$100 over one year isn't THAT much, but it's not pocket change either.

Source [thehcf.org], which also addresses old myths that say why we should idle.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156379)

Starter motor replacement costs are going to quickly eat up your stupendous 10 gallon annual savings.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156393)

Have fun replacing your ignition/starter every year. Similar to the people who downshift at any decline to save their brakes...

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Spoke (6112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156491)

Even better, auto stop/start systems should be made mandatory on all vehicles. People are idiots and lazy in general. Until you make it mandatory, you'll never get mass compliance. Especially because manually turning the car off/on requires a lot of attention to do it without adding delay.

I can't tell you how many douche-bags I see sitting in their cars while parked with the engine running, poking at their phone on a nice day when they could turn the car off and enjoy the breeze instead of adding air pollution. Yeah - even with gas over $4/gallon around here and the typical car burning at least $2/worth every hour.

Increased electrification of the fleet (auto start/stop is a step in this direction as it requires beefier starter and battery to handle the additional starts) will result along with other fuel economy benefits.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156883)

Auto start/stop really only works with hybrids whereby the electric motor can provide the initial torque while the engine starts; otherwise stop & go traffic would kill your engine (not to mention the traffic would be even worse since there would be an even greater delay in the reaction time to the traffic moving).

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157523)

Stop and go traffic isn't really a problem in most cars with auto start/stop.

With a manual gearbox, the engine will only stop if you're at a standstill, in neutral with the clutch released. It'll start up again as soon as you push in the clutch. In stop and go traffic, you are rarely completely still for more than a few seconds.

In cars with automatic gearboxes, there is usually a delay of 5-10 seconds before the engine stops. It starts up again as soon as you release the brake, of course. I believe some cars with automatic gearboxes will only stop the engine if you put it in neutral.

In addition to that, there are a host of variables that need to be fulfilled before the engine will stop. Coolant temperature, outside temperature, running time etc. etc.

In the real world, auto start/stop works well on any sort of ICE engine and powertrain combination.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156503)

You, much like that article seem to be forgetting the wear cost on the vehicle. Starting unless there's a pre-oil pump even when the vehicle is hot does damage, and you're also causing hard stress damage to other components restarting the car like that. Timing chains, more so belts on most vehicles. Bearings, gaskets and so on don't take shutting off and restarting off and on in rapid succession very well. Especially with all the lightweight materials we use in engines these days.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156541)

You, much like that article seem to be forgetting the wear cost on the vehicle. Starting unless there's a pre-oil pump even when the vehicle is hot does damage, and you're also causing hard stress damage to other components restarting the car like that. Timing chains, more so belts on most vehicles. Bearings, gaskets and so on don't take shutting off and restarting off and on in rapid succession very well. Especially with all the lightweight materials we use in engines these days.

Totally agree.

I'm assuming cars like hybrids, etc are designed with the consideration that they will be turning on and off so they are probably better designed to handle this.

Re:Turn off car when stopped at lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157085)

What you fail to say is you are probably doing 5 or more times as many starts per day and hence shortening the life of your starter motor which all your savings will have to pay for. most cars with start-stop have beefier starter motors to cope with this extra use. So savings to your pocket may be far short of your estimate, and may even be a negative number. That said environmental issues of less carbon emissions may still remain but I haven't done any calculations on the production of new starter motors, distribution and recycling of the old one.

One of the best things to reduce vehicle emissions without buying a new car is to change your driving style and anticipate conditions so you user the brakes less.

My prediction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156209)

This story will engender an enlightened discussion, the likes of which has never been seen before on slashdot. There will be rational discourse, calm weighing of all evidence given, and politeness from all parties involved towards others - especially those who might hold differing opinions. Why, even the likes of Socrates and Aristotle would be proud.

Hey, stop laughing! I'm being serious here!

Ground rules (1)

Dominus Suus (1187361) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156263)

If you're going to flame, at least quote something scientific and peer reviewed. I'm sick to death of these people citing The Economist and Newsweek and Time and, God forbid, The Register, when they go on tirades. There are a lot of facts in this world so there's no need to make up your own information.

Another reason to electrify the fleet (1)

Spoke (6112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156459)

Global warming concerns aside, particulate matter, especially fine particulate matter is known to aggravate respiratory issues in humans causing deaths and hospitalizations.

Moving high concentrations of these pollutants away from population centers through electrification will improve the health of people living near roads.

Yes - power plants should have improved scrubbers installed as well to reduce their particulate emissions as well.

Video of that carbon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156687)

There is a video of that carbon being washed into the ocean:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZXGbaYRYIw

Ironically a big plus for diesels (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156779)

Diesels, which until biodiesel came along, had giant clouds of smoke out the tail pipe until the heat plugs / engine warmed up-- mostly sulfur but still I'm sure there was a good chunk of carbon in there. Now I honestly can't even find non-biodiesel in my city (then again I haven't looked, diesel sedans are like non-existent in California) & the exhaust goes through what looks like a rube goldberg machine of exhaust filtration & (on biodiesel) often comes out cleaner than gasoline exhaust.
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