According to a study published in Nature Communication, the melting of microscopic algae blooms is turning landscape of Antarctica into green. Scientists have zeroed in on climate change as a possible reason for the larges-scale meltdown of algae. Around 1,679 blooms of green snow algae have spanned across a stretch of 1.9 square kilometres. The calamity is a consequent of tremendous carbon sink; almost equivalent to carbon emissions from 875,000 automobiles.
However, scientists predict that this new phenomenon has the potential to thrive other species and provide high nutrition for new ones. “It’s a community. This could potentially form new habitats. In some place, it would be the beginning of new ecosystem,” explained Matt Davey, plant and algal physiologist, Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University.
Data gathered for two years between 2017 and 2019 over two summers in the continent has allowed scientists to map the bloom in “warming temperatures.”
“I think we will get more large blooms in the future. Before we know whether this has a significant impact on carbon budgets or bio albedo, we need to run the numbers,” Andrew Gray, lead author of the research study, Cambridge University.
Presently, the bright green snow is also visible from space such is the extent of their bloom. As a consequence of global warming, the white continent is inching towards green.