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Snow algae

  Snow algae describes cold-tolerant algae and cyanobacteria that grow on snow and ice during alpine and polar summers. Visible algal blooms may be called red snow or watermelon snow. These extremophilic organisms are studied to understand the glacial ecosystem.

Snow algae have been described in the Arctic and on Arctic sea ice, and from Greenland, the Antarctic, Alaska the westcoast and east coast of North America, the Himalayas, Japan, New Guinea, Europe (Alps, Scandinavia and Carpaths), China, Patagonia in Chile and the South Orkney Islands.

More famously, red snow was mentioned in Jules Verne's book "The Desert of Ice", which describes an expedition to the North Pole, decades before such were possible. Verne notes that the red snow effect is caused by fungi, and was known in Switzerland and Baffin Bay.

See also

  • Ice algae, the various types of algal communities encountered in annual and multi-year sea-ice.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Snow_algae". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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