One of the reasons I inveigh so heavily against the use of the word “nanotechnology” to mean merely stuff that’s measured in nanometers, is that while it focuses on the size — “nano” — it tends to ignore the function — the “technology.” Nanotech to me is about high-energy-density, high-frequency, eutactic machinery. To those focused on size alone, it means … smoke. The carbon nanoparticles forming black carbon (not quite the same thing as carbon black) range from about 10 nanometers to a micron in size. If emitted into the air, they can remain airborne for quite some time.
Now, yet another NASA study has appeared showing that black carbon aerosols could be responsible for as much of a warming effect as CO2. (h/t el Reg) Given that NASA GISS climatology studies are run by James Hansen, the leading CO2-is-the-culprit proponent, you can assume the new theories have been examined carefully.
This could be very good news. Unlike CO2, smoke leaves the air soon enough that it has regional, rather than global effects. It could be addressed differentially, since some regions might want to be warmer and some cooler. It’s also a lot easier to clean up from typical sources.
But it’s not nanotechnology.