Mysterious pink ice in the Alps has sparked fears that it could worsen the effects of climate change, experts have warned.
But experts fear the plant could actually accelerate the effects of climate change, Biagio Di Mauro of Italy’s National Research Council told The Guardian.
Di Mauro said, “The alga is not dangerous, it is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the spring and summer periods in the middle latitudes but also at the Poles.”
White ice reflects up to 80% of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere, but algae darken the ice, making it absorb more heat and melt faster.
Many of the glaciers in the Alps are already under threat due to climate change, with experts predicting glaciers will vanish from half of UN-designated World Heritage sites this century unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed.
Researchers plotted glaciers at World Heritage locations – identifying a total of some 19,000 over 46 sites – and used data modelling to predict ice loss based on how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases the world emits between now and 2100.