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‘Snow blood’: Why climate change may be turning the Alps red

Sanguina nivaloides algae, also known as "snow blood"tare seen in this handout photo taken in Lautaret, France, on June 14, 2018.
Sanguina nivaloides algae, also known as “snowblood,” tare in this handout photo, taken in Lautaret, France, on June 14, 2018. © JG Valay / Jardin du Lautaret Alp / via Reuters

High in the Alps, huge patches of snow mysteriously turn red in a phenomenon known as “snowblood”. The result of a type of algae, the red spots are becoming more common, locals say, and are likely caused by climate change, scientists say. They fear the algae could spell ecological disaster for this remote area, as the red pigment reduces the snow’s ability to reflect sunlight, causing it to melt faster.

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