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Melting glaciers open up extensive sand deposits




(Newser)

In a strangely positive turn to climate change, a new study finds that Greenland could become a major exporter of sand as its glaciers disappear into the sea. With rising global temperatures, the island's vast ice surface is rapidly melting away and large amounts of sediment are being washed into the oceans, Reuters reports. The Greenlandic population of 56,000 inhabitants could achieve considerable economic success by mining sand and gravel and exporting to the rest of the world. "Greenland could benefit from the challenges of climate change," says the team of scientists. The melting ice sheet was described as a huge "drain pouring sediment to the coast". The amount of sand delivered annually to the country's coast is estimated at more than half of Greenland's Gross Domestic Product, which is about $ 2.22 billion, and is expected to increase within the next year Quarterly doubles.

The global sand market had a value of $ 99.5 billion in 201

7, and this cake is expected to grow due to future bottlenecks and rising demand. By the year 2100 it should be $ 481 billion. Sand is used in everything from concrete to computers, and the global black market has come from a surprising shortage of material. Of course, the mining and export of sand can affect the environment, while sediment deposition could further damage marine ecosystems. The exploitation of the sand reserves could be controversial because of its impact on the "pristine arctic landscape," reports ScienceDaily. "When we started our research, we had no idea that our findings would support the idea of ​​founding a sand mining industry in Greenland," said one researcher. "It just shows how unpredictable science can be." (Read more about sand stories.)

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