pink snow observed on presena glacier in italy

Es­ti­mated reading time is 1 minute.

MOST OF US HAVE SEEN BLUE ICE but what about pink ice? The head­line of the ar­ticle that at­tracted spurred me on to write this ar­ticle is “Algae turns Italian Alps pink, prompting con­cerns over melting.” It ap­pears on The Guardian web­site and was con­tributed by Agence France-Press (July 5, 2020). It’s fol­lowed by this sub-headline: “Pink snow ob­served on parts of the Pre­sena glacier be­lieved to be caused by plant that makes the ice darker, causing it to melt faster.”

The ar­ticle states that sci­en­tists are in­ves­ti­gating the mys­te­rious ap­pear­ance of pink glacial ice in the Alps, caused by algae that ac­cel­erate the ef­fects of cli­mate change. The alga is not dan­gerous [and] is a nat­ural phe­nom­enon that oc­curs during the spring and summer pe­riods in the middle lat­i­tudes but also at the Poles.

Nor­mally ice re­flects more than 80% of the sun’s ra­di­a­tion back into the at­mos­phere, but as algae ap­pear, they darken the ice so that it ab­sorbs the heat and melts more quickly.

Every­thing that darkens the snow causes it to melt be­cause it ac­cel­er­ates the ab­sorp­tion of ra­di­a­tion, [in­cluding] the pres­ence of hikers and ski lifts could also have an im­pact on the algae.

To read this ar­ticle in its en­tirety, click HERE.


Leave a Comment