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38 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

Water has lowest EM absorption in the blue part of light spectrum and increases rapidly towards both UV and red parts of spectrum. As a result in visible light water is blue. Same goes for the ice ...
NotAName's user avatar
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32 votes
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Why does glacier ice look blue?

The short answer is: BECAUSE THE ICE IS BLUE. Now we have to explain why it seems perfectly transparent on ice cubes and industrial ice blocks. It has to do with the fact that most transparent ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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17 votes
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If there's more water in the atmosphere due to global warming, how are there fewer mountain glaciers?

Indeed some glaciers are growing and gaining mass due to increased precipitation (in part due to climate change and enhanced atmospheric water content). But that's the case only for glaciers in very ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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17 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

"Transparent" is not the same as "white" : white bodies reflect most of the light while transparent bodies let the light though. Once the light enters into water, it may need to travel a long way ...
Dmitry Grigoryev's user avatar
10 votes
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Formation of ice shape

What you are looking at is called hair ice. The Wikipedia article seems a little unclear on the cause, but it seems associated with dead plant material, and the presence of certain fungi. Hair ice ...
justCal's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is this 70km crack in an ice shelf of Antarctica remarkable, or a regular occurrence?

Is an iceberg the size of Delaware [6,451 square kilometers] actually remarkable, or something that just happens from time-to-time? In March 2000 iceberg B-15 formed which was 11,000 sq. km. and 295 ...
DavePhD's user avatar
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8 votes

Is this 70km crack in an ice shelf of Antarctica remarkable, or a regular occurrence?

Developing since 2014, the crack was projected in 2015 to lead to "the largest calving event since the 1980s," according to this report in The Cryosphere journal by glaciologists studying the region. ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
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7 votes

How would Earth map look like if all ice melts?

Calculated Earth is one of the better tools for this, you can either zoom in and get various flood stages or set a specific flood stage and see what would flood, it is in metric though so you may need ...
Ash's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is glacier growing a hoax?

There is a decent explanation in Glacier Man Science 30 Oct 2009: Vol. 326, Issue 5953, pp. 659-661. (alternative link) Norphel’s idea was to divert the lost winter water from its course down the ...
DavePhD's user avatar
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7 votes

How much of the ice on earth is floating?

A first-order estimate is about 5%. This is a trickier question than it first appears because of ice shelves. Quoting from Kusky (2014): Ice shelves form where ice sheets move over ocean waters ...
Matt Hall's user avatar
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6 votes

Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

The variable you need to consider to understand the problem is the pond's depth. I bet that in contrast to your pond, shallow puddles around did freeze. The water is denser at 4°C, so to freeze the ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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6 votes
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How does salting roads help prevent ice?

Sodium chloride rock salt, NaCl, is usually used for de-icing roads. As mentioned in another answer, the dissolved ions lower the freezing point of water. Other kinds of salt are also used. Calcium ...
haresfur's user avatar
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5 votes
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During an average winter, what part (if any) of the Mississippi River becomes unnavigable?

Upper Mississippi river near St Paul Minnesota is closed December - March. US Army Corp of Engineers is responsible river navigation in the United States. From winonapost.com, (from 2015) the ...
Earth Science Expatriate's user avatar
5 votes

How does the influence of clouds on climate vary with height?

There are a few things that come into play when you talk about the radiative forcing of clouds, or their effect on the climate budget. "Cloud" is a pretty wide-sweeping definition. Scientists are ...
Budyko's Bud's user avatar
4 votes

How to tell if fog is made out of water droplets or ice crystals?

This doesn't aim to be a complete answer, but after putting a juicy bounty at Aviation SE on the question "Can pilots tell if a cloud or fog is made out of water droplets or ice crystals when flying ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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4 votes
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Do icebergs have any impact on ecology?

Yes, they have many impacts: They provide a substrate for algae to grow and they can have whole ecosystems under them. You might think that such substrate is transient because it is melting, but ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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4 votes
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Simple way to understand these narrow frequency peaks in recently published "ice shelf singing"?

The wavelengths that travel through the ice have a faster speed of travel, and the physical size of the pressure variations that cause the sound are not 100 meters. It's more like 1 meter, so it's ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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4 votes

If there's more water in the atmosphere due to global warming, how are there fewer mountain glaciers?

More moisture in the atmosphere also means less orographic lifting is required to reach saturation. This should lead to rain or snowfall at lower elevations, where it would melt more rapidly and not ...
rchuso's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
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Change in thermohaline circulation due to climate change

Climate models predict that under the influence of anthropogenic warming, the AMOC will decline during this century at a rate between 0 and 0.9 Sv per decade (1 Sv = 1 Mio. m3 s−1) ...
Rammstein's user avatar
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4 votes
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Does Arctic sea ice form a continuous flat sheet in winter between Russia and Canada, or are there gaps of water?

It is interesting to read reports from explorers Nansen, Amadeo, Cook, Peary, and others who all tried (and some of whom -- possibly -- succeeded) to reach the North Pole by skis and sleds in the ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
3 votes

What factors explain mountain glacier retreat variability?

There is indeed a large variability in glacier behavior, even between neighboring ones. If you look harder, you will even find advancing glaciers right beside others receding quickly. There are ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
3 votes

Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

The question doesn't say if the pond is stream fed. If it is groundwater fed - it will take much longer to freeze, due to the fact that the groundwater is moving through an insulated body (ground) and ...
paul leclerc's user avatar
3 votes

Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

The air temperature is 5 degrees. The water temperature is not. Same reason a bowl of soup or cup of coffee stays hotter than room temperature for some time before it cools down to room temperature. ...
Tim's user avatar
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3 votes
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Are there measurements or calculations that suggest atmospheric ice plates would be horizontal to within 0.1 degrees?

While the horizontal alignment of ice crystals has been observed in several previous studies listed in the Marshak et al. paper, it is not clear how much ice crystals wobble around the perfectly ...
Tamas Varnai's user avatar
3 votes

Why is my pond / lake melting when the temperature is still far below freezing?

My guess is that since ice (and the liquid water underneath it) is much better at absorbing thermal radiation than air, then even if the air temperature is below zero, the ice can heat up in the sun ...
bon's user avatar
  • 2,211
3 votes

A few questions about glass

Q1: A volcano consists of many lava flows that occur over a long period of time. In general, only very few of these lava flows have the right composition and the right cooling history that are ...
knb's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

Water (solid or liquid) has some absorbtion. It is rather low for pure water for visible or near-visible light and that's why water it is considered transparent. But only to an extent - few meters of ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 581
2 votes

A few questions about glass

In particular, in season 7 of Game of Thrones, the island of Dragonstone is revealed to contain a veritable mountain of obsidian - is such a thing possible in the real world? I would have thought that,...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
2 votes

How would Earth map look like if all ice melts?

The latest estimations of global land ice mass suggest they have enough water to rise sea level in 66.5 m. With this value you can go on and produce a global map (or one of you area of interest) at ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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