Algae turns Italian Alps pink, prompting concerns over melting

Pink snow observed on parts of the Presena glacier believed to be caused by plant that makes the ice darker, causing it to melt faster

Scientists in Italy are investigating the mysterious appearance of pink glacial ice in the Alps, caused by algae that accelerate the effects of climate change.

There is debate about where the algae come from, but Biagio Di Mauro of Italy’s National Research Council said the pink snow observed on parts of the Presena glacier is likely caused by the same plant found in Greenland.

Related: Italian team covers glacier with giant white sheets to slow melting

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