Phenomena

Albedo Effect

A leaf-shaped hole left in the ice.

Temperature isn’t the only factor that determines how ice will melt. In this photo, a dark oak leaf absorbed more solar radiation than the reflective ice around it, causing the ice beneath it to melt. Scientifically, this effect is described by albedo; darker, more absorptive surfaces like the leaf have a lower albedo, whereas light, reflective ice and snow have a high albedo and can better resist melting on sunny days. (Image credit: K. James; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)

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