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Nakaya discovered that the shape is also a function of whether the prevalent moisture is above or below saturation. Forms below the saturation line trend more towards sol

Prisms

Nakaya discover

Nakaya discovered that the shape is also a function of whether the prevalent moisture is above or below saturation. Forms below the saturation line trend more towards solid and compact. Crystals formed in supersaturated air trend more towards lacy, delicate and ornate. Many more complex growth patterns also form such as side-planes, bullet-rosettes and also planar types depending on the conditions and ice nuclei.[27][28][29] If a crystal has started forming in a column growth regime, at around −5 °C (23 °F), and then falls into the warmer plate-like regime, then plate or dendritic crystals sprout at the end of the column, producing so called "capped columns".[22]

Magono and Lee devised a

Magono and Lee devised a classification of freshly formed snow crystals that includes 80 distinct shapes. They documented each with micrographs.[30]

Snow accumulates from a series of snow events, punctuated by freezing and thawing, over areas that are cold enough to retain snow seasonally or perennially. Major snow-prone areas include the Arctic and Antarctic, the Northern Hemisphere, and alpine regions. The liquid equivalent of snowfall may be evaluated using a snow gauge[31] or with a standard rain gauge, adjusted for winter by removal of a funnel and inner cylinder.[32] Both types of gauges melt the accumulated snow and report the amount of water collected.[33] At some automatic weather stations an ultrasonic snow depth sensor may be used to augment the precipitation gauge.[34]

Events

Algae, Chlamydomonas nivalis, that thrive in snow form red areas in the suncups on this snow surface

Both pla

Both plant and animal life endemic to snow-bound areas develop ways to adapt. Among the adaptive mechanisms for plants are dormancy, seasonal dieback, survival of seeds; and for animals are hibernation, insulation, anti-freeze chemistry, storing food, drawing on reserves from within the body, and clustering for mutual heat.[100]

Plant life

Snow interacts with vegetation in two principal ways, vegetation can influence the deposition and retention of snow and, conversely, the presence of snow can affect the distribution and growth of vegetation. Tree branches, especially of conifers intercept falling snow and prevent accumulation on the ground. Snow suspended in trees ablates more rapidly than that on the ground, owing to its greater exposure to sun and air movement. Trees and other plants can also promote snow retention on the ground, which would otherwise be blown elsewhere or melted by the sun. Snow affects vegetation in several ways, the presence of stored water can promote growth, yet the annual onset of growth is dependent on the departure of the snowpack for those plants that are buried beneath it. Furthermore, avalanches and erosion from snowmelt can scour terrain of vegetation.[1]

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Snow interacts with vegetation in two principal ways, vegetation can influence the deposition and retention of snow and, conversely, the presence of snow can affect the distribution and growth of vegetation. Tree branches, especially of conifers intercept falling snow and prevent accumulation on the ground. Snow suspended in trees ablates more rapidly than that on the ground, owing to its greater exposure to sun and air movement. Trees and other plants can also promote snow retention on the ground, which would otherwise be blown elsewhere or melted by the sun. Snow affects vegetation in several ways, the presence of stored water can promote growth, yet the annual onset of growth is dependent on the departure of the snowpack for those plants that are buried beneath it. Furthermore, avalanches and erosion from snowmelt can scour terrain of vegetation.[1]

Animal lifeSnow supports a wide variety of animals both on the surface and beneath. Many invertebrates thrive in snow, including spiders, wasps, beetles, snow scorpionflys and springtails. Such arthropods are typically active at temperatures down to −5 °C (23 °F). Invertebrates fall into two groups, regarding surviving subfreezing temperatures: freezing resistant and those that avoid freezing because they are freeze-sensitive. The first group may be cold hardy owing to the ability to produce antifreeze agents in their body fluids that allows survival of long exposure to sub-freezing conditions. Some organisms fast during the winter, which expels freezing-sensitive contents from their digestive tracts. The ability to survive the absence of oxygen in ice is an additional survival mechanism.[100]

Small vertebrates are active beneath the snow. Among vertebrates, alpine salamanders are active in snow at temperatures as low as −8 °C (18 °F); they burrow to the surface in springtime and lay their eggs in melt ponds. Among mammals, those that remain active are typically smaller than 250 grams (8.8 oz). Omnivores are more likely to enter a torpor or be hibernators, whereas herbivores are more likely to maintain food caches beneath the snow. Voles store up to 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) of food and pikas up to 20 kilograms (44 lb). Voles also huddle in communal nests to benefit from one another's warmth. On the surface, wolves

Small vertebrates are active beneath the snow. Among vertebrates, alpine salamanders are active in snow at temperatures as low as −8 °C (18 °F); they burrow to the surface in springtime and lay their eggs in melt ponds. Among mammals, those that remain active are typically smaller than 250 grams (8.8 oz). Omnivores are more likely to enter a torpor or be hibernators, whereas herbivores are more likely to maintain food caches beneath the snow. Voles store up to 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) of food and pikas up to 20 kilograms (44 lb). Voles also huddle in communal nests to benefit from one another's warmth. On the surface, wolves, coyotes, foxes, lynx, and weasels rely on these subsurface dwellers for food and often dive into the snowpack to find them.[100]

Extraterrestrial "snow" includes water-based precipitation, but also precipitation of other compounds prevalent on other planets and moons in the Solar System. Examples are: