The Italian Alps are now covered in pink snow! The beautiful but unnatural phenomenon isn't a surprise snow mutation, it’s actually a bad sign. The pink color comes from blooming algae, which speeds up the rate at which snow melts away, as Futurism details:
It’s not so much that the algae is melting the snow itself, Earther reports. But rather, turning the snow into pink “strawberry snow,” as it’s sometimes called, makes it absorb more heat from sunlight, which causes it to melt sooner.
Blooms like this aren’t unheard of — they’re a relatively common occurrence in glaciers in the spring and summer. It’s not yet clear if rising temperatures linked to climate change will mean more blooms in the future, Earther reports, but there is the distinct possibility that more heat will mean more algae and less snow.
image via Futurism