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World Climate change leading to an increase of green snow in Antarctica

02:51  23 may  2020
02:51  23 may  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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Green snow created by blooming algae in the Antarctic Peninsula is likely to spread as temperatures increase as a result of climate change Satellite data gathered between 2017 and 2019, combined with on-the-ground measurements over two summers in Antarctica , allowed scientists to map the

In coastal Antarctica , some snow isn't white — it's green . And while small amounts of the green snow have been visible for years, it's starting to spread across the continent because of climate change . According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, the vibrant color is

Green snow created by blooming algae in the Antarctic Peninsula is likely to spread as temperatures increase as a result of climate change, researchers have said, after creating the first large-scale map of the organisms and their movements.

Satellite data gathered between 2017 and 2019, combined with on-the-ground measurements over two summers in Antarctica, allowed scientists to map the microscopic algae as they bloomed across the snow of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Warming temperatures due to climate change are helping the formation and spread of " green snow " and it is becoming so prolific in places that it is even While the presence of algae in Antarctica was noted by long-ago expeditions, such as the one undertaken by British explorer Ernest Shackleton, its

Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula will change colour as " green snow " caused by blooming algae is expected to spread with increases in global temperatures, research "Even though the numbers are relatively small on a global scale, in Antarctica where you have such a small amount of plant life, that

Warming temperatures could create more "habitable" environments for the algae, which need wet snow to grow in, researchers told CNN.

Green snow alga is microscopic when measured individually, but when the organisms grow simultaneously, they turn the snow bright green, and can even be spotted from space, researchers said in a study published in the Nature Communications journal on Wednesday.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey used European Space Agency satellite data with measurements from Antarctica's Ryder Bay, Adelaide Island, the Fildes Peninsula, and King George Island.

Patches of green snow algae can be found along the Antarctic coastline, usually in "warmer" areas, where average temperatures are a little above zero degrees Celsius during the Southern Hemisphere's summer months of November to February.

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Warming temperatures due to climate change are helping the formation and spread of “ green snow ” and it is becoming so prolific in places that it is even visible Green is not the only splash of colour in Antarctica . Researchers are now planning similar studies on red and orange algae, although that is

" Green snow " is spreading on the Antarctic peninsula as global temperatures rise, according to a study published today. Dr Matt Davey, from Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences who led the study, said: "This is a significant advance in our understanding of land-based life on Antarctica , and

The Antarctic Peninsula is the part of the region that has experienced the most rapid warming in the latter part of the last century, researchers say.

Unusually high temperatures were recorded in February, while a nine-day heatwave scorched the continent's northern tip earlier this year.

Scientists identified 1,679 separate blooms of green algae on the snow surface, covering an area of 1.9 km2 -- which equates to a carbon sink of around 479 tons per year. A carbon sink is a reservoir that absorbs more carbon than it releases.

Researchers believe the organisms will expand as global temperatures increase.

"As Antarctica warms, we predict the overall mass of snow algae will increase, as the spread to higher ground will significantly outweigh the loss of small island patches of algae," Dr Andrew Gray, lead author of the paper, and a researcher at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement.

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By Martyn Herman. © Reuters CLIMATE - CHANGE - ANTARCTICA . LONDON (Reuters) - Antarctica conjures images of an unbroken white wilderness but blooms of algae are giving parts of the frozen continent an increasingly green tinge. Load Error.

Warming temperatures due to climate change are helping the formation and spread of “ green snow ” visible from space, according to new research led by Dr Matt Davey from Cambridge University. UP NEXT. NOW PLAYING: other. Climate change turns Antarctica ’s snow green .

He told CNN that rising temperatures would create more "habitable" environments for the algae.

However, while an increase in snowmelt could lead to more algae growing, Gray told CNN that the distribution of the organisms is heavily linked to bird populations, whose excrement acts as a fertilizer to accelerate growth.

As bird -- particularly penguin -- populations are affected by warming temperatures, "the snow algae could lose sources of nutrients to grow," he said.

An increase in the blooms could also lead to further snowmelt, he said.

"It's very dark -- a green snow algal bloom will reflect about 45% of light hitting it whereas fresh snow will reflect about 80% of the light hitting it, so it will increase the rate of snowmelt in a localized area," he explained.

Researchers found that almost two-thirds of the blooms were on small, low lying islands, and said that as the Antarctic Peninsula warms due to rising global temperatures, these islands could lose their summer snow cover and algae -- although in terms of mass the majority of snow algae is found in areas where they can spread to higher ground when snow melts.

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