According to a research, several parts of the Antarctic Peninsula will witness a drastic change in its colour as "green snow" which is expected to spread with increases in global temperatures. As per reports, Antarctica is home to several types of algae which grows on snow and obtain carbon dioxide for their survival. Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey combined satellite image with on the ground observations to examine the current extent of the world's algae in the world's most secluded island.
As per the study, they identified more than 1600 separate green algae blooms on snow across the peninsula with a total surface area of 1.9 square kilometres. Matt Davey from Cambridge's Department of Plant Sciences reportedly told the media that the numbers are relatively small on a global scale where there is a very limited number of plant life and the amount of biomass is highly significant. The team also calculated that algae currently absorb levels of CO2 equivalent to 875,000 average car journeys.
Meanwhile, microplastics have been found in the sea ice in Antarctica, pointing to the extend and lethality of water pollution. The findings were made in recent research which also stated that the plastic pieces were a threat to aquatic life. Previously, plastics were found in the ice sheets and surface waters but the new discovery in the seawater has caused worry to the scientists.
The result revealed the plastic in seawater could threaten Krills which feed on algae. In turn, Krills are eaten by whale and contamination could disturb the entire ecosystem. The study was published by the Institue for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and it revealed that a total of 14 different kinds of plastics were found and an average of 12 pieces of plastics was found from per litre of water. Lead author Anna Kelly, Speaking to a UK Base media outlet, said that microplastic polymers were larger than those found in the Arctic and could indicate local pollution.