While writing our last blog, we discovered all kinds of interesting facts about ice. One measly blog just wasn’t enough to cover all the strange findings we discovered, so today we are excited to discuss even more fascinating ice facts.
Could It Indicate Extraterrestrial Life?
Ice doesn’t just exist on our planet alone; hydrogen and oxygen are one of the most abundant elements in the universe. Scientists believe that most of the earth’s water came from icy asteroids and comets that smashed into our planet. Even in the frigid ice layers of Antarctica, microscopic shrimp and other organisms manage to survive in the coldest conditions.
Although other planets are far colder than Earth, many of them are covered in ice, which suggests that extraterrestrial lifeforms do in fact exist. How cool is that?
Sixteen Types of Ice
Did you know that scientists have classified 16 different types of ice? The most commonly known form of ice is Ice IV, which is the type you find inside of your freezer. Although water is usually denser than ice, Ice III is denser than water, so this type of ice sinks when placed into water.
Many Different Ice Ages
Although only one ice age is well-known to mankind, the earth experienced several different ice ages. In fact, many previous ice ages were much worse, with the entire planet freezing, which was known as “Snowball Earth.” Can you imagine our entire planet as one big snowball?
Why Water Is Denser Than Ice
As water freezes, it expands into ice, so it retains the same mass even though it takes up more space. Because its molecules are spaced farther apart than water, ice is less dense than its liquid counterpart. This also explains why your pipes burst when they freeze.
Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet
Although Antarctica contains the largest ice sheet in the world, the second largest ice sheet is located in Greenland. If Greenland’s ice sheet melts, it holds enough water to raise ocean levels by 20 feet. Unfortunately, scientists have discovered that Greenland’s ice sheet is melting 8000 tons per second.
Greenland’s Ice Cores
Miles below Greenland’s ice sheet lies a layer of ice that froze over a hundred thousand years ago. Since the 1950s, scientists have drilled into that ice and studied it to learn about climate change throughout the ages. Using well-preserved ice samples, scientists have learned about the ways in which the planet coped with past climate fluctuations so we can help preserve the planet throughout current climate changes.
Igloos aren’t the only structures built out of ice. In 1973, the U.S. Navy built a pier on Antarctica using its ice. Since then, five more ice piers have been built, which last for several years before melting.
Although it sounds like a cool band name, the term “cryosphere” actually refers to the ice on Earth. This includes frozen water as well as permafrost, which is soil that exists below freezing for extended time periods.
Isn’t ice fascinating? Our commercial ice packs are just as fascinating as ice, and they stay cold without melting into a watery mess. Our shipping ice packs also stay colder for longer periods of time than traditional gel ice packs. If you ship perishables, shop our selection of industrial ice packs at HeroLily today.