Tag: polar science

The Amazing Science Behind Polar Colours

4 August 2022
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Antarctica, Arctic

It’s not just the sheer magnitude of Antarctica and the Arctic Circle that commands a traveller’s attention. The planet’s polar regions are nature’s canvas for a colour scheme not seen anywhere else on earth!  Glaciology Optics Glacial ice is a very different beast from the cubes floating around in a summer cocktail. The eye-popping blues, turquoises and aquamarines owe their super cool looks to the ice density of glaciers which absorb every other colour of the spectrum, except blue. Crystalline structures compacted over aeons channel blue light in a different way to what human eyes normally interpret ice properties. When glacial ice initially freezes, it fills with air bubbles. As that ice is buried and compressed underneath younger ice on top, the older ice starts to take on a blue tinge. As the ice grows denser, the bubbles eventually reduce to tiny levels. Without the scattering effect of these air bubbles, light can penetrate…

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