Antarctica: the wind sublimates snowflakes

Researchers have observed and characterized a weather process that was not previously known to occur in Antarctica's coastal regions. It turns out that the katabatic winds that blow from the interior to the margins of the continent reduce the amount of precipitation (mainly snowfall) -- which is a key factor in the formation of the ice cap. By forming a very dry layer of air in the first kilometer or so of atmosphere, the winds turn the falling snowflakes during their fall directly from their solid state into water vapor in a process known as sublimation.
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