Gavia and Presena, pink snow because of an alga: never seen before in Italy

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On Presena and passio Gavia the snow has started to turn pink, due to the Ancylonema Nordenskioldii seaweed: it is the first time that the phenomenon has been observed in Italy, immortalized by the youtube video shot by Stefano De Nicolo of the Local Team agency.

The single-celled alga had never hit at such low latitudes (it had stopped at the Swiss massifs, the Morteratsch glacier), but had already become famous all over the world for the formation of the so-called dark zone of 100,000 square km in Greenland: “The presence of organisms such as algae has the effect of darkening the ice, or decreasing the amount of reflected solar radiation (also known as albedo) from the ice and increasing its melting”, explains the researcher Biagio Di Mauro in a interview with Bicocca News.

“This darkening process is known as ‘bio-albedo feedback’ – continues the expert -. When melt water is available on glaciers, single-celled algae find suitable conditions and multiply. Their purple color, due to the pigments photosynthetics, decreases the albedo of glaciers and further accelerates the melting of snow and ice, favoring the presence of a thin layer of water that allows them to survive in conditions that would otherwise be unhospitable for life “.



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