Pink snow is a very bad sign

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    It might be beautiful to look at, but this pink snow is a lot more concerning than its pretty appearance suggests.

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    A new study has found that these algae blooms play a crucial role on melting the Arctic glaciers.
    The colourful algae reduce the snow’s ability to reflect sunlight, meaning the glaciers absorb more heat and melt at a faster rate.
    Over one melting season, researchers say the algal blooms can lead to a 13 percent reduction of albedo (the ability of a surface to reflect sunlight).
    While the algae might not be having a huge impact at the moment, as the Earth gets warmer, its influence will grow.
    According to lead study author, the algae need liquid water in order to bloom. Therefore the melting of snow and ice surfaces controls the abundance of the algae. The more melting, the more algae. With temperatures rising globally, the snow algae phenomenon will likely also increase leading to an even higher bio-albedo effect.

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