As the glaciers in Greenland melt away, an ultra-fine silt known as glacial rock flour is deposited. This nutrient-rich mud boosts agricultural output when applied to farmland and absorbs carbon dioxide from the air in the process.

Powder produced by ice sheets could be used to help tackle climate crisis when spread on farm fields

The research on the CO2 uptake of Greenland rock flour, published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, estimated that 250kg of CO2 can be trapped per tonne of rock flour. After three years in soil in Denmark, the researchers found about 8% of this had been achieved. The scientists also calculated that 27m tonnes of CO2 could be captured if all farmland in Denmark was spread with the rock flour, an amount similar to the country’s total annual CO2 emissions.

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