COUNTRY SCIENTIST

BY FORREST M. MIMS III

Snow Science

Depending on the circumstances, a landscape coated with snow can be a winter wonderland, a major nuisance, or a disaster in the making. There’s another way to view the white stuff as well, because snow can provide an important resource for doing science.

Both scientists and photographers have long studied and photographed the astonishing beauty of individual snowflakes. Here we’ll concentrate on snow that has reached the ground. We’ll explore some of its characteristics and effects on the environment, aside from the moisture it provides.

Snow as a Heat Island Indicator

The temperature measured by many of the ever-diminishing number of climate monitoring stations around the world is biased ...

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