Climate-friendly farming: Greenland’s melting glaciers offer an answer

Greenland drink break [image credit: leisurelylifestyle.com]

As a bonus in today’s climate obsessed times, carbon credits could come into play for farmers to sell with this discovery. Even Danish brewers can benefit. Why fear glacier melt if it makes life better?
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On a shore near Greenland’s capital Nuuk, a local scientist points to a paradox emerging as the island’s glaciers retreat: one of the most alarming consequences of global warming could deliver a way to limit its effects, says Reuters (via Yahoo News).

“It’s a kind of wonder material,” says Minik Rosing, a native Greenlander, referring to the ultra-fine silt deposited as the glaciers melt.

Known as glacial rock flour, the silt is crushed to nano-particles by the weight of the retreating ice sheet, which deposits roughly one billion tonnes of it on the world’s largest island per year.

Professor Minik Rosing and his team at the University of Copenhagen have established the nutrient-rich mud boosts agricultural output when applied to farmland and absorbs carbon dioxide from the air in the process.

Scientists at multinational brewer Carlsberg are also investigating and have found that adding 25 tonnes of glacial rock flour per hectare increased crop yield on barley fields in Denmark by 30%.

Similarly, researchers from the University of Ghana, managed to increase maize yields by 30% using glacial rock flour to offset the impact of rain and heat on poor farmland.

The nano size of the silt’s particles is what allows plants more access to nutrients including potassium, calcium and silicon compared to normal rocky farmland.

“We are at the stage in this project where we definitely know that it works,” Rosing says. “There are many barriers between this and a big scale industry, but the potential is definitely there.”

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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November 20, 2021 at 02:48AM

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