Arctic ice flowers


On the surface of North ice ocean close to north Russian coast “flowers” grow where microscope life lives. It is the phenomenon “Flower fields” which grow on the ice ocean and look like the scene from other planet from science fiction films.Arcticusually is considered and seen as huge ocean hidden under thick layer of ice and endless storm desert… We don’t expect to see there something like field full of transparent white flowers. And onArcticreally exist ice flowers. It is extremely beautiful, rare and not enough searched feature, one more unforgettable, magical and filigree master piece of nature.

Water from firm aggregate condition can transfer to gas without previous transfer into liquid and thanks to that on the surface of ice of North ice ocean it creates the layer saturated by humidity. In the conditions where the difference in temperature of water and air is around20°C, that layer cools down quickly and it condensate. When first ice just becomes, its temperature is around0°C, and the air temperature is around –20°C, and at that moment just in few seconds grow “Arctic flowers” or ice crystals few centimetres high. After some time on the ice crystals the rime of a salt aerosol catches, and the concentration of salt in ice flowers is around 4 times higher than in sea water. At the first sight it seems that ice flowers are totally lifeless crystals but it is not true. They are really a kind of miniature temporary eco systems. From still not known reasons number of live micro organisms which live in heavy conditions ofArcticis few times higher in ice flowers than under the thick layer of ice. Each ice flower consists of around million bacterium. Because of that some scientists represent the theory that the life on our planet became in the similar natural conditions.

It is incredible feeling when in the middle of ice in front of you, you find whole field of ice flowers. Unfortunately, ice arctic flowers are fragile and short duration. Flowers disappear as soon as the size of ice increase, and its temperature gets closer to air temperature. Apart from that, the height of flowers and the area where they grow depends on the layer of over saturated by humidity, and that layer is very unstable. There are many factors which influence it, and one of them is wind. Scientists warn that ice flowers, along all its beauty, can have harmful influence on atmosphere. Sun light starts in them the reactions during which the flower emits big amount of composition of bromine and formaldehyde, and they ruin ozone layer around our planet. Science for now can not correctly say how really this feature influence natural processes, but on Arctic is more and more young ice, and ice flowers grow in it, and that facts should start more researches of this natural feature.

Photo taken from: wordlessTech

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