Recent pictures of Antarctica would confuse anyone with the South American Prairie Grassland as the snow land has turned green. However, this phenomenon is not because of some goniochromism effect. According to new research published on Wednesday, 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 from space.
While the presence of algae in Antarctica was noted by long-ago expeditions, such as the one undertaken by British explorer Ernest Shackleton, its full extent was unknown.
Meanwhile, scientists are hopeful that this impact of global warming and climate change could, in fact, potentially create a new source of nutrition for other species. “It’s a community. This could potentially form new habitats. In someplace, it would be the beginning of a new ecosystem,” Matt Davey, plant and algal physiologist at the Department of Plant Sciences at the Cambridge University, who was involved in the study, told The Guardian.
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“I think we will get more large blooms in the future. Before we know whether this has a significant impact on carbon budgets or bio albedo, we need to run the numbers,” Andrew Gray from Cambridge University, the lead author of the paper, said.
At present, certain regions of Antarctica have such dense algae concentration that the bright green-appearing snow can even be viewed from space. And, the scientists believe that with global warming on the rise, the algae blooms will expand their range in the future making the white continent even greener.
Earlier, because of algal bloom of Chlamydomonas nivalis, the snow of Antarctica had turned blood red. Algal Bloom has serious consequences on the environment. Algal Bloom decreases the reflection of light from snow and subsequently leads to more absorption.