Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Environment
- Red snow has been noticed around Ukraine’s Vernadsky Research Base, off the coast of Antarctica’s northernmost peninsula.
- Reason: It is the algae that give the snow its red tinge
- This alga species, Chlamydomonas Chlamydomonas nivalis, exists in snow in the polar and glacial regions, and carries a red pigment to keep itself warm.
- Impact: These algae change the snow’s albedo. Darker the tinge, the more the heat absorbed by the snow. Therefore, the red snow causes the surrounding ice to melt faster
- Cause of Concern: While the melt is good for the microbes that need the liquid water to survive and thrive, it’s bad for glaciers that are already melting from a myriad of other causes