Red snow could spell serious trouble for glaciers
The image of red snow immediately brings to mind one of the final scenes of Fargo, personally, and, if you happen to be a glacier, the spreading phenomenon could prove just as deadly as a woodchipper.
Red-snow algae has been spotted in both Europe and Alaska, growth that turns the usually white glaciers pink. The problem is this darker color causes snow and ice to melt that much faster.
According to Gizmodo:
The authors [of a study recently published in Nature Geoscience] warn that a combination of climate change-driven melting on polar ice sheets and increased deposition of airborne particles, including nutrient-loaded agricultural dust, could create more favorable environments for red-snow algae to proliferate in the future, triggering even more melting in a vicious feedback loop. “Climate and melt models that ignore the ecology of microbial radiative forcing,” i.e., microbe-driven melting, “risk underestimating rates of warming and consequent sea level rise.”
Red snow never turns out well.
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Photo credit: WikimediaPosted by Kate Rinsema