Magazine article Geographical

Hu(g)e Worries

Magazine article Geographical

Hu(g)e Worries

Article excerpt

Geographical's regular look at the world of climate change. This month, Marco Magrini looks at coral bleaching

As weird as it may appear, pink snow is nothing new. The Times wrote about its discovery in 1818, after Captain John Ross brought back a sample from Greenland. 'It is suggested that the colour is derived from the soil,' wrote the paper, only to discover later that it was due to cold-loving, microscopic algae that contained a red pigment.

While pinkish snow is not directly caused by climate change, it does, as a paper in Nature Communications argues, have the power to exacerbate its nasty effects on the Arctic. 'Melting is one major driver for snow algal growth,' the study says. 'Extreme melt events like that in 2012, when 97 per cent of the entire Greenland ice sheet was affected by surface melting, are likely to re-occur with increasing frequency in the near future as a consequence of global warming. Such extreme melting events are likely to even further intensify the effect of snow algae on surface albedo.' The smaller the albedo (the measure of a surface's reflectivity), the more heat is absorbed by glaciers, thus accelerating melting rates.

Unfortunately, we have another huge problem with white and pinkish hues. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.