Pink ‘snow-watermelon’ threatens large Italian glacier

A pink invader threatens the immense Italian glacier of Presena.

The Alpine Glacier, once the site of WWI battles between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and now an outdoor and skiing destination, appears to have caught a bad case of “snow watermelon”, according to a CNN report. The pink hue comes from algae growing on the ice. While the small algae do not directly damage the glacier, they make the normally white surface darker, allowing it to absorb more sunlight. This absorbed light heats the glacier, accelerating its rate of melting. At 10,068 feet (3,069 meters) above sea level, the glacier has remained untouched for millennia throughout the summers.

Biagio Di Mauro, a researcher at the Institute of Polar Sciences of the Italian National Research Council, told CNN that microscopic plant species Chlamydomonas nivalis probably caused the sudden pink tint. Algae is common in the Alps, but low winter snowfall appears to have combined with high spring and summer temperatures to create ideal conditions for a major bloom.

Related: Time-lapse images of retreating glaciers

Presena Glacier Preservatives Use massive sheets of textiles in summer to reflect the light on the glacier and send it back into space. But that doesn’t cover all the ice.

Glaciers all over the world are shrinking at an astonishing rate due to climate change. In the United States, many major glaciers that have existed for thousands of years, including TK and TK, could disappear within decades according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS notes that glaciers are often an integral part of their local ecosystems, providing fresh water for downstream fish, supporting agriculture, and providing key sources of drinking water for human populations. Without glaciers, water would be more scarce, even if droughts and forest fires become more frequent due to climate change.

Related: The endangered glaciers of the European Alps

One of the most important receding glaciers in the world is the Denman Glacier in Antarctica, Previously reported live science. The 20-kilometer-wide ice current east of the continent retreated 5 kilometers between 1996 and 2018. A canyon below the glacier could accelerate Denman’s retreat, risking a feedback loop that could melt the entire glacier. giant. ice block. If all of Denman’s ice returned to the ocean, sea level would rise on average 5 feet (1.5 m) worldwide.

Originally posted on Live Science.

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