Monday, October 27, 2008

CO2 Freezing Right Out Of The Air

D asked me why carbon dioxide doesn't freeze out of the air in the Antarctic; I asked him why he thinks it doesn't. We looked online - a physics forum was debating the question of the existence of polar CO2 ice but they were getting all crazy about it and ended up making a wager over who was right.
Then I found another site where people on a scientific expedition for the Phoenix Mars Expedition (practice perhaps?) wrote about their experience there in the antarctic, Mars Phoenix Expedition. Here's one line at the end:

"The winter ice that covers our landing site is predominantly carbon dioxide ice as the atmosphere actually freezes onto the cold surface."