• Why does the snow melt?

    Andrey Kresrerev
    Andrey Kresrerev
    March 28, 2013
    Why does the snow melt?

    In the fall, children and adults are eagerly awaiting the appearance of snow, which will cover mud and slush of roads with lush snowdrifts. It will be possible to sculpt snowmen all day long and throw snowballs! But spring will come and sooner or later the snow will melt - first in the city, then in the forest. Why does the snow melt and why does it melt unevenly?

    What is snow

    Snow is a type of precipitation, it is a tiny ice crystal formed in the air. Snow is formed when micro droplets of water in clouds under the action of low temperature are attracted to dust particles and freeze into complex symmetric crystals, which fall down and grow due to the fact that moisture continues to condense on them. Have you noticed that snowflakes always have a six-pointed shape? This is due to the fact that the structure of water molecules can form only crystals with rays located at an angle of 60 ° or 120 ° to each other. The main crystal in the shape of a hexagon is overgrown with small hexagons, and so are the snowflakes, which we simply call snow.

    When the snow starts to melt

    From the physics school course we all know at what temperature the snow melts: The snow begins to melt when the air temperature rises above 0 ° C. But in nature, the snow can evaporate even at a negative temperature. When water from a solid state turns into gaseous, bypassing the liquid stage, it is called sublimation, and the likelihood of such a phenomenon increases under the action of bright sunlight. Do you know what kind of snow melts faster? Dirty snow melts faster than clean. Dirt reduces the reflective properties of snow and heats up under the action of sunlight, causing the snow to melt. That is why the city melts snow faster than in the field. In the field, the snow melts faster than in the forest. This is due to the fact that in the forest the sun breaks through the crowns of trees less, so the temperature in the forest is lower than in the field and the snow can lie without melting for quite a long time.

    Will the salt melt the snow? In fact, salt does not heat the snow, it destroys the ice. When the salt gets on the ice, it diffuses, during this process the ice is first cooled, and then returns to ambient temperature, but at the same time turns into salt water.At the same time, outwardly it seems as if salt is eating ice. Thus, it turns out that this is only an illusion. As a conclusion, we can say that in nature snow melts mainly because with the change of seasons there is a change in temperature.


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