Related topics: glaciers · climate change · water · sea ice · ice sheet

Warm ocean water attacking edges of Antarctica's ice shelves

Upside-down "rivers" of warm ocean water are eroding the fractured edges of thick, floating Antarctic ice shelves from below, helping to create conditions that lead to ice-shelf breakup and sea-level rise, according to a ...

New organic compounds found in Enceladus ice grains

New kinds of organic compounds, the ingredients of amino acids, have been detected in the plumes bursting from Saturn's moon Enceladus. The findings are the result of the ongoing deep dive into data from NASA's Cassini mission.

A new theory to explain how the dunes on Titan formed

A trio of researchers with the University of Hawaii has developed a new theory to explain how the dunes on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may have formed. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Matthew Abplanalp, ...

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Ice

Ice is a solid phase, usually crystalline, of a non-metallic substance that is liquid or gas at room temperature, such as carbon dioxide ice (dry ice), ammonia ice, or methane ice. However, the predominant use of the term ice is for water ice, technically restricted to one of the 15 known crystalline phases of water. In non-scientific contexts, the term usually means ice Ih, which is known to be the most abundant of these solid phases. It can appear transparent or opaque bluish-white colour, depending on the presence of impurities or air inclusions. The addition of other materials such as soil may further alter the appearance.

The most common phase transition to ice Ih occurs when liquid water is cooled below 0°C (273.15K, 32°F) at standard atmospheric pressure. It can also deposit from vapour with no intervening liquid phase, such as in the formation of frost.

Ice appears in nature in forms as varied as snowflakes, hail, icicles, glaciers, pack ice, and entire polar ice caps. It is an important component of the global climate, and plays an important role of the water cycle. Furthermore, ice has numerous cultural applications, from ice cooling of drinks to winter sports and the art of (ice sculpting).

The word is derived from Old English ís, which in turn stems from Proto-Germanic *isaz.

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