ISLAMABAD-Antarctica could turn green as climate change causes algae to bloom across the surface of the snow — and penguins are partly to blame, a study has found. Botanists from the University of Cambridge created the first ever large-scale map of microscopic algae blooming along the Antarctic coastline. The researchers combined satellite data with on-the-ground observations taken over two summers spent at the South Pole detecting and measuring green algae. They found that — although each individual alga is microscopic in size — collectively they can turn snow bright green and can be seen from space when grown en masse.

Algal growth appears to be encouraged by bird and mammal excrement — with 60 per cent of blooms found within 3.1 miles (five kilometres) of a penguin colony.

Experts believe that this ‘green snow’ will spread further and faster as global temperatures continue to increase under man-made climate change.This is a significant advance in our understanding of land-based life on Antarctica, and how it might change in the coming years as the climate warms,’ said paper author and botanist Matt Davey, of the University of Cambridge.