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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Spectral characterization, radiative forcing and pigment content of coastal Antarctic snow algae: approaches to spectrally discriminate red and green communities and their impact on snowmelt

13 January 2021

The authors present radiative forcing (RF) estimates by snow algae in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) region from multi-year measurements of solar radiation and ground-based hyperspectral characterization of red and green snow algae collected during a brief field expedition in austral summer 2018. Mean daily RF was double for green (~26 W m−2) vs. red (~13 W m−2) snow algae during the peak growing season, which is on par with midlatitude dust attributions capable of advancing snowmelt.


The press release by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) can be found at: https://nsidc.org/news/newsroom/red-and-green-snow-algae-increase-snowmelt-antarctic-peninsula

Other news articles (in German) can be found at:
https://www.geo.de/natur/oekologie/23796-rtkl-naturphaenomen-algenblueten-der-antarktis-verstaerken-schneeschmelze
https://www.tagesspiegel.de/wissen/gruener-und-roter-schnee-algenblueten-in-der-antarktis-verstaerken-schneeschmelze/26799602.html

Spectral characterization, radiative forcing and pigment content of coastal Antarctic snow algae: approaches to spectrally discriminate red and green communities and their impact on snowmelt
Khan, A. L., Dierssen, H. M., Scambos, T. A., Höfer, J., and Cordero, R. R.
The Cryosphere, 15, 133–148, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-133-2021, 2021

Contact: Alia L. Khan (alia.khan@wwu.edu)

Red and Green Snow algae in the AP region. Photo by Bob Gilmore.

Red and Green Snow algae in the AP region. Photo by Bob Gilmore.

Green snow algae along the northern Antarctic Peninsula. Photo by Jacob Dana.

Red and Green Snow algae in the AP region. Photo by Ted Scambos.

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