Sea smoke -2°C water meets -32°C air
 - Antarctic Weather Phenomena

Antarctic Mountains

Another take on the idea that water turns to vapour when it is considerably warmer than its surroundings. In this picture, water is being exposed at the "tide-cracks" that form around offshore rocks and small islands when the tide rises and falls with continuous sea-ice present. As the ice is not flexible it cracks and as it does, exposes an amount of open water to the air.

Antarctic sea water varies between about +2°C and -2°C (the letter being the freezing point of sea water) over the course of a year, so in the case of this picture, the exposed sea water is more than 30°C warmer than the surrounding air. The result - it begins to turn to a vapour being so much warmer. The sunshine on this day serves to make it more visible and different temperature layers in the air cause it to rise to a band above the clearer air close to the ice surface.

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Photo credit - Paul Ward /