In the Italian Alps is something strange and sinister – the surface of the glacier Presena turned a suspicious pink color. Scientists know what it is, but I don’t understand why this is happening here at this time of year. Worse still, skeptics believe – this so-called “watermelon snow” is a new and important sign of impending climate catastrophe.
“Watermelon snow” is an affectionate Italian idiom, but when the snow at the Antarctic station. Vernadskogo steel crimson, the press dubbed them “bloody”. The same was observed in Alaska and Greenland, and the perpetrators of this phenomenon – a single-celled Alga Chlamydomonas nivalis. In the flowering period of their becoming so numerous that from a distance the mass of algae in a shallow puddle of melt water looks a bloody stain.
Most scientists concerned about why in the Italian Alps have such conditions, which provided a massive algae bloom. Usually the scale of the phenomenon was not high and it was over very quickly, but the region is so warm that the ice melts and algae are all in bloom, and to this end the process is not visible. What if now it will be the new climate norm, that if glaciers around the world will come together to melt every summer and painted in an alarming red?
Pink color, certainly not black, but also reflects sunlight worse the pure white snow. Then, the surface of the glacier is accumulating more heat and melt faster. Scientists recognize that questions of vital activity of algae on glaciers nobody in the world deeply was not engaged, and therefore more questions now than answers. This means that we need to expand their knowledge, to understand that promise in the future of the planet “the bloody snow”.