Odd pink snow in the Alps is pretty, but it might be a red flag
More "watermelon snow" in the Alps could be a sign of fast-melting ice.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Pink snow, also called "watermelon snow," has appeared at Northern Italy's Presena glacier, according to Biagio Di Mauro of the Institute of Polar Sciences at Italy's National Research Council. While it's not uncommon for the Italian alps to be "pretty in pink" in spring and summer, scientists become cautious when the phenomenon, which is caused by algae, starts happening more frequently.
Di Mauro told CNN that 2020's lack of snowfall and higher temperatures have nurtured the algae's growth. More algae could lead to ice melting faster.
When Di Mauro tweeted clarification for an article from The Guardian, he said the algae was probably Chlamydomonas nivalis, a snow algae. He also said the algae's relationship with climate change hasn't been proven yet.
Di Mauro tweeted photos of the pink snow on Monday.
Across the ocean, in late May, Antarctica reported green snow, caused by microscopic algae. Though microscopic, the green blooms could be spotted by satellites. The color might also have connections with the impact of warming climates, researchers said.
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