Green Snow

What Green Snow Means For Antarctica

The snow in Antarctica has a strange green coloring that will have a serious impact on the region. The color comes from a snow algae bloom that is becoming so widespread that it can even be viewed from space, according to the latest report on the subject.

Climate change is raising the temperature, and Antarctica is feeling that more than any other place in the world. And as a result of warming temperatures and snow melting, microscopic Algae is able to bloom within the wet snow.

Thus, the snow is turning green.

How Does This Impact Antarctica?

Melting Ice

Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth, but it is warming up very fast. It was able to remain so cold because of the large ice sheets and snow-covered land. These factors allowed it to reflect sunlight back better than any other location on the planet.

As a result, the temperature was very low.

However, fast forward and ice sheets are melting and snow accumulation is down. Antarctica is losing its ability to stay cool, and green snow may be the final nail in the coffin.

Snow and ice can reflect around 80% of all light that reaches it, but that is not the case for when it has a green coloring. Instead, researchers have said its reflective properties drop to 45%.

That’s a 35% decrease!

Thus, the green snow will result in Antarctica melting faster.

On the other hand, there is also one positive. There are approximately 1679 individual blooms (green snow patches) that take up 1.9km² of space. This results in a carbon sink of 479 tons a year. A carbon sink in where more carbon is absorbed than released.

Blooms Likely to Increase

The algae blooms are a result of the warming temperatures. They bloom in wet snow after all. And they themselves will also cause the temperature to increase by reducing the reflective ability of snow.

Thus, the blooms are going to become more widespread as the temperature rises.

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