Stunning satellite images show lake completely transform from green to red
During the spring and summer seasons, Iran's Lake Urmia goes from being a green body of water to a red one.
NASA not only recently captured an aerial image of the change, it explained why the change occurs.
The agency notes that as the summer months heat up, "...lake levels begin to drop."
That decline increases the salinity, which influences the behaviors of certain microorganisms.
One of them, according to Mohammad Tourian with the University of Stuttgart, is a microalgae called Dunaliella salina which, "in conditions of high salinity and light intensity...turns red due to the production of protective carotenoids in the cells."
Another, according to NASA, is, "...a group of bacteria found in water that is saturated or nearly saturated with salt. These bacteria release a red pigment...that absorbs light and converts it into energy for the bacteria. When populations of the bacteria are large enough, they can stain bodies of water."
The agency predicts, "...that a red Urmia could become increasingly common," as, "drought and intensive water diversion for agriculture has been limiting the amount of fresh water reaching the lake.
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