Snow began to bloom near the Ukrainian station Akademik Vernadsky in Antarctica: it acquired a green and pink hue. The corresponding footage was shown on Facebook of the National Antarctic Science Center.
According to scientists, this color appears as a result of the development of microscopic algae in the snow. They reproduce by spores that are not afraid of extreme temperatures and are stored in the snow throughout the winter. When weather conditions are favorable, spores begin to germinate. The pigment chlorophyll gives the green color, and the red color is the carotene layer, which contains the cells of some types of microalgae, the Antarctic Science Center specified.
Snow blooms contribute to climate change as less sunlight is reflected due to coloration, which leads to even faster melting. As a result, algae multiply there more actively, and a vicious circle is formed.
According to the director of the center, Yevhen Dikiy, the news about the snow blooming near the Ukrainian station received worldwide attention. “Thanks to this popularity, scientists at the University of Cambridge saw this news and proposed a joint study to determine what area of Antarctica is covered with colorful snow in summer,” he stressed. The study is planned for the near future: its results will allow a new assessment of the extent of the melting of Antarctic snow as a result of global warming.