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Rising Global Warming Temperatures Could Make Greenland Sand Exporter

The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines.

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FILE - The Greenland ice sheet is seen in southeastern Greenland, Aug. 3, 2017. VOA

Greenland could start to export sand in a rare positive spinoff from global warming that is melting the island’s vast ice sheet and washing large amounts of sediment into the sea, scientists said Monday.

Mining of sand and gravel, widely used in the construction industry, could boost the economy for Greenland’s 56,000 population who have wide powers of self-rule within Denmark but rely heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

By mining sand, “Greenland could benefit from the challenges brought by climate change,” a team of scientists in Denmark and the United States wrote in the journal Nature Sustainability.

The study, headlined “Promises and perils of sand exploitation in Greenland,” said the Arctic island would have to assess risks of coastal mining, especially to fisheries.

Rising global temperatures are melting the Greenland ice sheet, which locks up enough water to raise global sea levels by about seven meters (23 ft) if it ever all thawed, and carrying ever more sand and gravel into coastal fjords.

Greenland
FILE – A man walks to his boat past a number of abandoned and dry-docked boats in the town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018. VOA

“You can think of it [the melting ice] as a tap that pours out sediment to the coast,” said lead author Mette Bendixen, a researcher at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.

Worldwide demand for sand totaled about 9.55 billion tons in 2017 with a market value of $99.5 billion and is projected to reach almost $481 billion in 2100, driven by rising demand and likely shortages, the study said.

That meant a rare opportunity for the island.

“Normally the Arctic peoples are among those who really feel climate change — the eroding coast, less permafrost,” said Bendixen. “This is a unique situation because of the melting ice sheet.”

David Boertmann of Aarhus University, who was not involved in the study, said there was already some local mining of sand for the domestic construction industry in Greenland.

Drawbacks for Greenland, common to other mining projects on the island ranging from uranium to rare earth minerals, include the distance to markets in Europe and North America, he said.

Still, Bendixen said sand was already often transported long distances, such as to Los Angeles from Vancouver or from Australia to Dubai.

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The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines. The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines

“At the moment it is an inexpensive resource, but it will become more expensive,” she said.

The study said that sand and gravel might also be used in the future to reinforce beaches and coastlines at risk of rising sea levels, caused in part by Greenland’s thaw. (VOA)

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The UN Headquarters To Be Powered With Green Electricity From Gandhi Solar Park Gifted by India

The UN headquarters will be powered with green electricity when the Gandhi Solar Park gifted by India comes online on September 24

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UN, India, Solar Park, Climate, Global Warming
The installation costing about $1 million will generate 50 kilowatts of electricity from the 193 solar panels. Pixabay

The UN headquarters will be powered with green electricity when the Gandhi Solar Park gifted by India comes online on September 24 symbolising New Delhi’s commitment to fighting climate change.

The installation costing about $1 million will generate 50 kilowatts of electricity from the 193 solar panels, each representing a UN member nation.

India is also donating a Gandhi Peace Garden made up of 150 trees, which will be located at a university campus in Old Westbury as another environmental gift.

The two gifts that come in the year of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth showcase two elements in the fight against climate change: Generating green energy from renewable resources through the solar park and using the trees to sequester (or capture back from the environment) carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

UN, India, Solar Park, Climate, Global Warming
The UN will also be releasing a special stamp on Tuesday to commemorate Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Wikimedia Commons

The gifts mesh in with the focus of the high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly this year — fighting climate change, which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called a “battle for our lives”.

ALSO READ: The Mayors Announce Their Support For Climate Change Strike

The UN will also be releasing a special stamp on Tuesday to commemorate Gandhi’s birth anniversary. (IANS)