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Name: Craig E.
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Question:
Why is some arctic ice blue?



Replies:
Craig,

Pure ice in the form of large single crystals (definition from the Glossary of Meteorology) is blue. The blue wavelengths of light are scattered most by the pure ice. The purer the water that the crystals form from, the deeper the blue color.

Icebergs, glaciers and ice sheets (which produce icebergs), Arctic, and Antarctic ice can be blue if large ice crystals of pure water have grown in them.

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory



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