Pink snow, or “watermelon snow,” has appeared at the Presena glacier in Northern Italy. Though it’s fairly common in the spring and summer seasons, researcher Biagio Di Mauro told CNN it’s been more notable this year.
Photos taken by Miguel Medina of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) show large swaths of Italian Alps snow coloured with a tint of pink.
While white snow typically reflects back 80 per cent of the sun’s radiation, darkened snow will absorb heat, and therefore melt, quicker, the AFP reports.
“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,” Di Mauro, who had previously studied the algae at the Morteratsch glacier in Switzerland, told the AFP.
“We are trying to quantify the effect of other phenomena besides the human one on the overheating of the Earth,” Di Mauro said.