'Watermelon snow' is pretty, but potentially bad news for already changing climate

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'Watermelon Snow' Is Pretty, But Potentially Bad News For Already Changing Climate

In the warmer months, patches of snow in the Arctic take on a pink tinge, making some areas appear like they're covered in fluffy cotton candy.

According to the Washington Post, while the effect is certainly lovely, new research by experts in the U.K. and Germany shows the colorful cover could bring accelerated warming and melt to the already compromised region.

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Often called "watermelon snow," the pastel-hued frozen stuff gets its unique appearance from an algal bloom, notes the New York Times.

As the Arctic warms, the algae's automatic safeguard against the sun kicks in, turning it pink and red.

When the snow is coated with the darker colors, more heat is absorbed, and melting may occur at a faster pace.

While it's unclear how much of an impact the algae have on the current glacial loss problem, the researchers do believe it is something that should be further investigated.

RELATED: More photos of the troubling 'watermelon snow'

Watermelon snow
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Watermelon snow

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