2023 Award Winner: Minik Thorleif Rosing with the Glacial Rock Flour initiative

Glacial Rock Flour

Glacial rock flour can serve to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, improve global food security, and bring new business opportunities to Greenland.

As the world struggles with grand challenges, the glacial rock flour offers a solution to multiple problems. Abraded from the Greenland bedrock by the movement of the ice sheet, the rock flour is a plentiful and naturally occurring concentrate of mineral nutrients. Stimulated by heat and humidity, a process known as weathering releases the nutrients from the rock flour and simultaneously binds atmospheric CO2. Thus, when used to treat soil in tropical and even temperate climates, the glacial rock flour can help mitigate greenhouse-gas induced climate change and at the same time increase crop yield. In oceanic settings, the rock flour binds CO2 and also reduces the acidification of seawater. The glacial rock flour project offers a scalable solution which stimulates natural systems to consume CO2, strengthens the resilience of ecosystems, and can also provide economic benefits to Greenland.