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Still Waters

Increasing dust 'down to Icelandic glaciers'

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Melting Icelandic glaciers may be contributing to an increase in dust, according to research.

The thin layer of grime that accumulates on car bonnets and windscreens is usually blamed on desert sand blown across Europe from Africa.

But new evidence indicates that some of it can be traced to the effects of global warming in Iceland.

As the glaciers retreat, newly exposed areas of rock previously ground under the ice are releasing more dust into the atmosphere, say scientists.

The findings could have implications for global weather and human health, it is believed.

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While most people give it the brushoff, a panel of scientists gathered Friday to focus on dust. Dust in the air. Dust in the oceans. Dust in your lungs. Good dust. Bad dust. And not a can of Pledge in sight.

The scene, a conference room at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in usually sunny Southern California, the land where recent wildfires filled the air with smoke and dust.

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