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The freezing point of carbon dioxide is -78.5C, while the coldest recorded air temperature on Earth has been as low as -92C, does this mean that it can/would snow carbon dioxide at these temperatures?

Olivia Thompson Olivia Thompson Dec 17, 2020 · 1 min read
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Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that is commonly found in the atmosphere, and is a vital component for the survival of life on Earth. However, unlike water (H20) which can exist in all three phases - solid, liquid and gas - carbon dioxide can only exist in two phases, gas and solid. This solid form of CO2 is commonly known as dry ice, which is frequently used for a variety of purposes, including food preservation, laboratory experiments, and theatrical special effects.

The freezing point of carbon dioxide is -78.5C, which is significantly lower than the freezing point of water (0C). Therefore, in extremely cold temperatures, it is possible for carbon dioxide to freeze and form a solid state. But, can it snow CO2?

To answer this question, it is important to understand what snow is. Snow is a type of precipitation that forms when water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into ice crystals. These ice crystals then fall to the ground as snowflakes. The formation of snow depends on several factors, including temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.

The coldest recorded air temperature on Earth has been as low as -92C, which is considerably lower than the freezing point of carbon dioxide. However, the question of whether or not it can snow CO2 depends on the atmospheric conditions. In order for it to snow CO2, the air must be both cold enough and humid enough.

If the air is exceptionally dry, the CO2 will simply freeze and form a solid state without crystallizing into snowflakes. Additionally, even if the air is humid enough, the CO2 may not necessarily form snowflakes. This is because the air is primarily composed of nitrogen and oxygen - which do not react with CO2 in the same way that water vapor does.

In conclusion, while it is possible for carbon dioxide to freeze and form a solid state in extremely cold temperatures, the formation of CO2 snow depends on a variety of atmospheric conditions. Therefore, it is unlikely that it would snow carbon dioxide at the coldest recorded air temperatures on Earth.

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Olivia Thompson
Written by Olivia Thompson
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