Native ‘snot’

Chemical changes to the environment may spur lurking algae to come out of hiding

By Stephen Ornes, 18:44 PM June 12, 2014

More than 20 years ago, unwelcome algae known as “rock snot” began to appear in rivers around the world. Scientists long suspected that this goopy glob was an invader — an alien species that had come from somewhere else. A new study now suggests the algae were there all along — just hiding out.

Researchers now believe the algae are a native species that have simply undergone a recent growth spurt. The burning of fossil fuels is changing Earth’s atmosphere, soils and climate. Those changes appe...

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