Greenlandic Rock Flour: from stones to bread

Media:  Talk   

24 October 2017

Byens Lys

Andreas de Neergaard

Andreas de Neergaard is former professor at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and currently professor and Vice Dean for education at the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Copenhagen. Homepage

Minik Rosing

Minik Rosing is a world leading Greenland geologist and professor at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and has been awarded numerous prizes. Together with Andreas de neergard, their research activities in Greenland have been granted 5 million dkk by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Homepage

Pasborg Key Project

One of the most personal and versatile young European drummers / bandleaders – from groove to abstract. Three time Danish Music Awards-winner Stefan Pasborg is a highly energetic drummer from the melting pot of Copenhagen, and after getting a snare drum, a cymbal and a high-hat at the age of three from renowned jazz drummer Alex Riel, he has developed into a very personal musician on the European jazz scene. This is not just one of Europe’s most interesting drummers, but one of Europe’s most interesting musicians… Stefan Pasborg, the H.C. Andersen of contemporary jazz” – Jazz Journal, UK Homepage

How do we feed a growing world population? Can we actively capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in the ground? Can the vast Greenlandic Ice Sheet promote growth of crops in the tropics? Would it be environmentally responsible - or even a remotely good idea - to transport mud from one end of the world to the other? Can Greenland create economic growth by “doing good” on the global stage?

Greenland has an urgent need for business development and many countries in the tropics desperately need to increase their agricultural production. A cross-disciplinary research project at the University of Copenhagen is currently investigating these two - seemingly unrelated - questions by asking: Can mud from Greenland glaciers benefit the Greenlandic economy and simultaneously solve global problems?

Fishing is still the most important industry and the foundation of the Greenlandic economy. Both whales and fish reflect a massive biological productivity in the North Atlantic Ocean. This unique productivity is caused by an exceptional richness of nutrients in the ocean. When the glaciers traverse the land, they crush the crustal rocks into a fine, silky glacial rock flour, which is transported to the ocean by melt water, and contribute to nourishing life in the ocean.

Most of the rock flour is deposited along the ice front in lakes and fiords. From a plant-perspective and a geological perspective Andreas de Neergaard and Minik Rosing are investigating this resource which has until now been both overlooked. Their ultimate goal is to investigate whether this particular Greenlandic material could become a source of income for Greenland and a way to obtain a more sustainable and efficient agricultural production in tropical countries, while also binding CO2 in the soil.

Afterwards, dry ice cooled down cocktails as cold as Greenland, while Pasborg​ ​Key​ ​Project takes the stage - a solo project by one of the most renowned Danish drum players:

Entrance to the event is free. Event held in English. No registration is necessary. Doors open at 19:00.

The talk: