The recently released US Climate Report documents the catastrophic effects that climate change will have on the country's economy, health, and environment by the end of the century. 

But we may not have that long, according to Rajan Chakrabarty, assistant professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis.

Soot, known as black carbon by atmospheric scientists, is a powerful global warming agent. It absorbs sunlight and traps heat in the atmosphere in magnitude second only to the notorious carbon dioxide.  

According to research by Chakrabarty's lab, because of the way soot has been incorporated into models, scientists have been underestimating how much light it actually absorbs. 

Read Chakrabarty's paper in Physical Review Letters.

Contact him directly at [email protected]. Or contact Brandie Jefferson, news editor, at [email protected] or 314.935.5272.