The once white snow, which landed and accumulated in the Italian Alps, is now turning pink. Scientists have discovered that the cause of this weird change is the increase in the growth of snow melting algae. This algae has been growing so rapidly that it is actually changing the color of the snow!
The algae contains carotenoid pigment, which gives it this distinctive watermelon color. While most algae thrive in warm fresh-waters, these are known as cryophilic, meaning they thrive in colder temperatures. “Everything that darkens the snow causes it to melt because it accelerates the absorption of radiation,” said Biagio Di Mauro of Italy’s National Research Council to AFP. “We are trying to quantify the effect of other phenomena besides the human one on the overheating of the Earth.” He noted that the presence of tourists could also have an effect in weakening the snow.
This phenomenon is something of concern because climate change is real and it is happening even more rapidly than anyone could have anticipated. We are all playing a part in this and our actions have consequences that go beyond what we can imagine. On our own part, we should at least stop using plastic and start investing more in environmentally friendly products. If we all change our ways, we can save the planet from obvious destruction.
Image source: ASSOCIATED PRESS