Eyes and sensors to control temperature, ocean levels and melting ice. These are just some of the functions that modern satellites perform by orbiting our planet. They help us cultivate more sustainably, save water or warn us against natural disasters caused by climate change. All information is then transmitted to stations on Earth and spread around the world.
One of the most alarming problems of the last period concerns the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, in fact, microscopic algae blooms are expanding on the surface of the melting snow. The landscape is slowly transforming, taking on a greenish complexion and creating the basis for a new ecosystem that would use the same algae to feed itself.
Only satellites have been able to notice with clarity this ongoing mutation of bright green hues on the melted snow. For six years, biologists from the University of Cambridge and the British Department of Antarctica have mapped and studied these changes in the field. About 1,679 flowering areas have been identified, covering a total area of approximately 2 square km.
This transformation has been detected above all in small islands located to the north, in an area where the temperature has risen a lot in recent years, like nowhere else in the world. But the phenomenon is expanding (less visibly and more slowly) also to the south, in colder areas.
Scientists speculate that these changes to the environment will lead to the creation of a real ecosystem, as well as the formation of a new habitat. Several spores of fungi and bacteria have indeed begun to proliferate.
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