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Antartica's blood-red snow another climate change sign?

Last Updated : 29 February 2020, 10:18 IST

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Ukrainian scientist has captured an unusual photograph of Antarctica: the pristine white ice being covered with blood-red snow.

In a Facebook post, Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science shared photographs of an island off the coast of Antarctica's northernmost peninsula covered in 'blood snow'. The photographs taken by Ukrainian scientist and biologist Andriy Zotov show white snow with streaks of blood red.

Whether or not the snow turning red is another sign of climate change is still up for debate but the scientist has provided an explanation for the red colour.

Scientists say that the snow is red because of red-pigmented, microscopic algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis chlamydomonas. During favourable conditions such as less snow and batting sunlight, these algae sprouts in the snow, spreading a red colour over the surface.

"Because, besides green pigment - chlorophyll, their cells contain also a red carotene layer, red spots occur on snow as if from raspberry jam," says Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science in a Facebook post.

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Published 29 February 2020, 10:03 IST

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