Green snow mapped in Antarctica


The snow in Antarctica is turning green. But this is not to be considered a good sign of the environment. The green colouration of the snow is only because of the effects of global warming. A group of researchers have mapped the green snow of the Antarctic region and t5e findings were published in Nature Communications.

University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences professor Matt Davey led the team from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey. It is for the first time that green snow is mapped. They came across 1,679 separate blooms of green algae on the snow surface. The researchers could identify these spots as they were prominently visible from space. The researchers used satellite images taken between 29017 and 2019 and compared it with their observations they made in their trip to Adelaide Islands, Ryder bay, King George and Fildes peninsula.

The study said that algae spores were germinating on the surface of the snow as it gets warmer. They found that algal blooming was mainly around Antarctic coastline, particularly on islands along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. They also said that the green snow patches will only increase in the future because of global warming.

The researchers also found the algae in places where animal presence was felt. The algal colouring was discovered within three miles of penguin colonies. Some of the experts have expressed concern over the green snow. They said that algae increase the amount of sunlight and heat that snow absorbs. This may lead to melting of ice faster.


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