UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
I know that carbon dioxide freezes at a temperature of -57 degrees and forms dry ice, but in Antartica the temperature is -60 degrees . So, does dry ice forms there? If yes, then how and why?
Question Date: 2013-02-19
Answer 1:

Carbon dioxide freezes at -78.5 degrees Celsius or -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit under atmospheric pressures. The coldest (we know) it has reached in Antarctica is about -89 degrees C. However, dry ice will not form there. This is because it has a very low abundance in the earth's atmoshphere, about 0.04% by volume. When we reduce the partial pressure of CO2 (make it dilute in air) the frezzing point becomes lower. Although some dry ice might form initially, it will immediately sublimate back into the gas phase. Another answer is that if you were to bring dry ice to antarctica on a cold night, it would still sublimate to form CO2 gas (although much slower than at normal temperatures).

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use