It appears in the Alps, but not only: its crimson imprint and its ruby shades kiss some of the highest peaks in the world: it is the snow of bloodalso called watermelon snow [neve anguria, ndr] for its appearance and texture. Although its appearance creates spectacular views, the name already says everything there is to know: its presence does not indicate anything good for the health of the Planet.
This type of snow appears in quite frequently during the summer, but the truth is that for some time now it appears earlier and is slow to disappear. And this is also an extremely indicative signal and already portends the reasons why researchers are increasingly concerned.
What is blood snow?
Blood snow is a type of red snow whose coloring is due to the presence of a named algae Chlamydomonas Nivalis. It is an alga that is actually green but contains astaxanthin, a red carotenoid pigment that combines with chlorophyll. When snow is compressed, the pigmentation darkens significantly and creates areas more prone to melting, attracting the sun’s rays more significantly.
What worries the researchers is that the Chlamydomonas Nivalis has evolved into a new genre, call It bleeds. This variant of seaweed absorbs more heat intensive and activates a protection process that works a bit like a “sunscreen”, securing itself by engulfing the heat in a healthy way for it and creating algal blooms that can extend from 20 to 30 meters and go deep for over 25-30 centimeters.
The role of red snow in the thaw
Why would this evolution be worrying? For two reasons. First of all, his role in the thaw: Sanguina makes snow melt much faster, at frightening rates. This means that the affected areas are becoming increasingly drier, in a quite alarming way: the fault of global warming, which activates the process of proliferation and protection of this alga and which creates all the conditions to make it increasingly resistant.
Then, why the It bleeds yes you are spreading very fast at different height levels. Before, in fact, it could only be traced between 10,000 and 12,000 meters high. Recently, however, scientist Eric Marechal collected several samples at “only” 2,500 meters high and raised the alarm, explaining that it is necessary to find a way (respectful for the ecosystem) to stem the process.
The volume of snow and the melting of ice
The presence of red snow is yet another warning sign that our planet is at risk from its overheating and drought. Several teams of researchers are working to monitor the current volumes of snow present on the different peaks of the globe. Currently, those of Alps are the most targeted areas from the It bleedswith increasingly colonized areas and increasingly present and worrying dry spots.
The director of the CEA of Grenoble, Alberto Amato, has already stated that the Sanguina seems to increase in an almost unstoppable way and that its contact with carbon dioxide at different levels of height is destined to create a devastating impact. As concern increases, however, studies continue. Hoping we haven’t already reached the point of no return.
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