Snow at above freezing temperatures

Did you ever wonder how can it snow at above freezing temperatures? Well, the naive explanation is that it simple takes time for the snowflakes to melt once they penertrate above freezing air, as they descent downwards to the ground. As it turns out, this is the reaons why hail can fall in warm weather. The hail stones simple fall fast, too fast to let the warm air melt the hail.

With snow flakes, this isn't the case. The flakes fall very slowly and the large surface to volume ratio ensure that the flakes can reach thermal equilibrium with the environment on time scales much shorter than their descend time. So, how can the flakes remain frozen as they fall?

The Milky Way Galaxy's Spiral Arms and Ice-Age Epochs and the Cosmic Ray Connection

On long time scales, it appears that our journey through the Milky Way is responsible for large climate variations. Each time we pass through spiral arms of the galaxy, we witness a higher flux of cosmic rays, which in turn reduce the global temperature. Read more about the effect and the evidence in this article.

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