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International

Watermelon Snow: Not Edible but Important for Climate Change

Summer is the season to cool off with a big chunk of watermelon. But there’s another kind of watermelon that’ll have you trading in your sandals for hiking boots if you want to experience it.

Red pigmented algae, known in some places as “watermelon snow,” in the Arctic. Credit Liane G. Benning/GFZ

While you’re not going to want to eat what some people call “watermelon snow,” researchers have found that having a better understanding of it could be important in a warming world.

In snowy places across the globe, “watermelon snow” forms as the summer sun heats up and melts winter’s leftovers. The colorful snow is made up of communities of algae that thrive in freezing temperatures and liquid water, resulting in algal blooms. When these typically green organisms get a lot of sun, they produce a natural type of sunscreen that paints the slopes pink and red. The addition of color to the surface darkens the snow, allowing it to heat up faster, and melt more quickly.

“Imagine wearing black instead of a white T-shirt in the sun. It feels much hotter,” wrote Stefanie Lutz, a geobiologist at GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, in an email. “It is the same for the snow: More heat means more melting.” [weiter]

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .

More than 2,000 wildfires have ravaged swaths of northern Spain in recent weeks thanks to a combination of unusually warm weather and high winds.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .

More than 2,000 wildfires have ravaged swaths of northern Spain in recent weeks thanks to a combination of unusually warm weather and high winds.



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCpAlthough winter lingered in some parts of the country this year, spring is already heating up and scientists see the character of spring changing over the longer term. Such changes go beyond just the temperature — with significant consequences.Although winter lingered in some parts of the country this year, spring is already heating up and scientists see the character of spring changing over the longer term. Such changes go beyond just the temperature — with significant consequences. [weiter]

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp

The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

With grass still growing in the north of Scotland well into December, the famous Royal Dornoch links put the traditional switch to winter greens on hold and kept its mowers buzzing into the final days of 2015.

But alongside the serendipitous consequences for gourmets and golfers, unusual climatic conditions have also been linked to more unsettling trends.

Scientists and gardeners alike fret over whether this year reflects a worrying new normal created by .



Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp[read more]
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCpvsvssdasd
The disruption of established weather patterns has put strawberries on festive menus in France, ensured an abundance of game in Germany's woodlands and seen tomatoes ripen for an exceptional third time this year on Italian balconies.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-01-europe-winter-warmth-nature-tailspin.html#jCp