‘Watermelon Snow’ Covers Italian Mountains
The snow in the Presena Glacier in Italy is turning pink causing the snow to melt faster. Watch our latest video to learn more.
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range that lies entirely in Europe. They stretch approximately 1,200 kilometres across eight countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The snow in the Presena Glacier, which is part of the Alps Mountain range, is turning pink because of algae that are usually found in Greenland. Scientists have raised concerns over the development as the algae causes the ice to melt faster. This type of pink snow is also known as 'Watermelon Snow' and is usually found in the Alps in summer and spring but this year there is a lot of pink snow. A researcher at Institute of Polar Sciences at the National Research Council in Italy, "There was quite a lot of snow algae. The algae named Chlamydomonas nivalis is responsible for the change in color of the snow,"
Mauro added that the low snowfall and the height of the mountain and the temperature were perfect conditions for the algae to grow. The blooming of the algae is bad news as dark snow absorbs more heat causing the snow to melt faster. Mauro plans to study the phenomenon in detail using satellite data. Earlier, Mauro had studied Morteratsch glacier in Switzerland. There an algae named Ancylonema Nordenskioeldii had turned the snow purple. This kind of algae is also found in Greenland, the Andes and Himalayas. Climate change has caused the glaciers around the world to melt. A 2019 research found out that glaciers in Switzerland have shrunk by 10 per cent in the last 5 years. The rate (%) was highest in over a century.