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Snow and Ice

Why are high mountains covered in snow?


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Wiki User
June 10, 2009 8:01AM

Because it's cold up there. The atmosphere gets colder at high altitudes so the snow doesn't melt as quickly as lower altitudes. But why is it colder? Because the atmosphere is less dense than at sea level. This explains why the air is colder. But why is the GROUND colder? I presume because at sea level, there is an equilibrium (approx) maintained between the ground and the air, while higher up, the air is less dense and so the sun's radiation that arrives to the ground (mountain) is absorbed by the Earth and that ground remains cold enough to support snow. Is this correct, anyone?