'Blood snow' is becoming an issue on Alaska's glaciers

It's all down to a particular kind of algae...


Algae-infused, pink-colored snow has been observed in Alaska, and the verdict is in: It's contributing to faster-melting glaciers.

The phenomenon, also known as 'watermelon snow' or 'pink snow,' has been viewed around the world and is caused by an algae species that grows on glaciers.

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When enough of the red algae is packed together, it absorbs more of the sun's energy, causing snow and ice to melt.

Researchers at Alaska Pacific University calculated that the algae, coating 270 square miles of Alaska's Harding Icefield, accelerated glacial melting by 17 percent.

As the algae spreads over alpine areas around the world, the findings offer an ominous warning.

Weather sayings: True or false?

Weather sayings: True or false?