If you live in Greenland and the sky suddenly darkens with a strange cloud, you may be dealing with what scientists call “glacial flour”.
Glaciers create massive dust ‘flour’ storm in Greenland
Researchers had long been talking about glacial flour dust storms in the Greenland Territory, as far as NASA was concerned. The huge cloud created by this difficult-to-catch dust 130 kilometers northwest of Ittoqqortoormilt village (according to How it works magazine) was only visible in September. What is called glacial flour is produced by glaciers crushing rocks, NASA says. Satellites had detected such small storms before, but this is “the largest ever detected.”
“We’ve seen small dust events of this kind before, but it’s hard to detect by satellite because of cloud cover,” says Joanna Bullar, professor of physical geography at Loughborough University in England, in a NASA newsletter. “When dust incidents occur, field data from Iceland and the western Greenland region show that they rarely last more than two days.”
The flour storm is formed when the summer floodplain in the region dries up with the cold weather in late September, leaving behind a huge pile of sediment carried from the northern glaciers to the south. NASA satellites watched the floodplain turn gray as it dried, and on September 29, when strong winds broke out, a cloud formed in the area.
Storms like this are very interesting, according to NASA, because researchers do not yet know a lot about these storms or their impact on the climate. Although it is known that large dust storms close to the equator have an impact on the climate, the role of the glacial flour storm remains a mystery. It is necessary to investigate these famous mysteries for a longer time to understand the effects of storms.