A specific alga has started conquering several parts of a glacier in the Italian Alps which turns their color from white to pink. Even though we like to see this beautiful scenario we consider it to be a treat to the eyes, this is very dangerous for our environment. Scientists are trying to study how they came to colonize the region and also understand their connection with climate change.
The alga is probably one amongst the common Chlamydomonas nivalis (a snow alga), and not Ancylonema nordenskioeldi (a glacier alga), says Biagio Di Mauro, a researcher at the Institute of Polar Sciences.
1- The alga was probably Chlamydomonas nivalis (a snow alga), not Ancylonema nordenskioeldi (a glacier alga)
2- the phenomen is quite common in the Alps
3- the relationship with climate change has yet to be proven@guardian @afpfr https://t.co/mG6RARexTD
— Biagio Di Mauro (@DiMauro_b) July 6, 2020
Glaciers in the Italian Alps melt pink
Research suggests that the latter, which is commonly found in Greenland, was behind the pink appearance. Typically, the snow algae colonize the snowfields of the alps and polar regions all over the world. The phenomenon is quite common in the Alps, adds Di Mauro.
The alga is not dangerous, it is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the spring and summer periods in the middle latitudes but also at the Poles. However, it is to be noted that the increase in this activity is a result of the increased global warming around us. Glaciers and ice sheets are not lifeless.
Several species of microorganisms, algae, and small arthropods grow on melting ice and snow. Because ice is white, it reflects most sunlight into space. But the algal growth turns the ice darker, allowing the absorption of heat.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.