Pink Ice in Italian Alps is due to Algae

Published: July 6, 2020

Italian scientists have found pink coloured glaciers in the Alps. According to the them, the pink colour is formed due to an algae found in the ice.

Highlights

The Italian researchers recently observed pink coloured snow on parts of Presena glacier of the Alps. According to them, the colorization is due to algae and is not harmful. Also, the colourisation is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the mid latitudes and poles during springs and summer.

The science behind colorization

Ice reflects more than 80% of sunlight back into the atmosphere. The algae in the ice is leaving a red hue that is turning the ice pink. Also, the appearance of the algae is darkening the ice, forcing it absorb more heat and melt more quickly. The appearance of algae is increasing as the ice is melting more rapidly. Thus, melting of ice and appearance of algae have entered into a vicious cycle ultimately becoming a threat to the ice in the Alps. Lesser the ice, lesser is the sunlight reflected back. This will increase global warming and fasten temperature rise.

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