The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do igloos melt?  (Read 16677 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
Do igloos melt?
« on: 22/03/2007 10:00:00 »
If people live inside igloos, sleep cook and whatever, does the inside melt?


 

Offline elegantlywasted

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 573
    • View Profile
    • Deviant Art
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #1 on: 22/03/2007 12:00:00 »
I would think that their heat source would cause the inside to melt a bit, but the cold temperatures would freeze it again, thereby making the igloo stronger.
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #2 on: 22/03/2007 13:25:30 »
I don't think Inuits live in igloos anymore !..unless they go off on a camping trip !

I agree with Meg though, I doubt there is hardly any melting at all as the heat just goes straight through the hole in the top.

As a firm believer in empirical study I think this calls for a Naked Scientist sponsored field trip to Greenland
 

Offline Captain Jesus

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Captain Jesus
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #3 on: 22/03/2007 20:39:08 »
I Agree That At The Temperatures Required To Build The Igloo And With Proper Ventilation It Would Be Difficult To Melt An Igloo Through Daily Use. Quite Practical For The Old Days, Though They Wouldn't Be Impossible To Melt...
 

Offline WylieE

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #4 on: 23/03/2007 04:37:53 »
Where I grew up they would ship snow down for us to play with one day a year. But it was never enough to build igloos.

 
I like chevy chases scene in the saucer he polished up and took down the snow covered hill!!!!LOL

Not me, with with nothin' between the ground and my brain but a piece of government plastic
 

Offline BillJx

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #5 on: 23/03/2007 22:27:45 »
If people live inside igloos, sleep cook and whatever, does the inside melt?

I'm not a scientist (although I don't know what specialty would cover this anyway) and my house isn't an igloo.  But I understand that what happens is this: An igloo is made of snow, which is a good insulator.  After it's been lived in for awhile, moisture penetrates the snow and ices up the air pockets.  So the igloo loses its insulation properties and you have to build a new one.

Mountain climbers sometimes sleep in snow caves, and if the cave is too small for the number of people the roof will drip.  So I guess the answer to your question about a snow structure melting from the inside is, it depends on the temperatures and rate of heat transfer.  If it's done right, no.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #6 on: 31/03/2007 07:05:20 »
That is very cool! I am glad to see the answer. I lost the thread and could not find it until now! Thanks Bill for such a nice answer!
 

Offline L_D

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #7 on: 31/03/2007 10:12:06 »
I once built a snowcave and 3 of us slept in it for one night, I got taught how to make it from an experienced mountaineer. One thing we had to do was make the roof concave both for strength and to stop it dripping on you. We also had to make the roof smooth so any drips of water would run down the walls rather than drip on us.

I think all snowcaves melt/drip to some degree, we didn't do any cooking but ours still got quite warm throughout the night. I slept in a sleepingbag with a lot of clothing on, but throughout the night I kept waking and taking stuff off because I was getting too hot.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #8 on: 31/03/2007 10:20:46 »
That just absolutely baffles me as my mind cannot put heat and snowcave in same thought process. Thanks for the information!
 

Offline L_D

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #9 on: 31/03/2007 10:32:43 »
There was 3 of us in a fairly confined area an not exposed to the weather, so it wasn't hot nor particularly cold, I would say a mild temperature. We also had higher, built up areas for sleeping on so we were sleeping in the relatively warmer part of the cave.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #10 on: 31/03/2007 19:52:26 »
that is facinating!
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #11 on: 01/04/2007 09:44:09 »
Snow caves work for several reasons.

1) You are protected from wind-chill. Cold air moving past you pulls heat from the body because it maintains a steep thermal gradient. In the snow cave the air moves relatively little and hence you are warmer.

2) The white surface reflects heat back at you. Snow is white because it is reflecting all wavelengths of light; this includes infrared, which is why snow doesn't necessarily melt on a hot sunny day in the mountains.

3) If you sleep under the stars the atmosphere is effectively transparent to infrared wavelengths, so you lose heat by radiative cooling to a dark cold sky. In your snow cave you cannot see the sky (because of the reflective roof above you (see 2)) and hence the gradient is much lower and you remain warmer.

Chris
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #12 on: 01/04/2007 17:23:37 »
That really is interesting. I understand the white snow reflecting the heat back to you..I think. So a regular cave could offer you the protection from the wind chill factor.So would it still be colder then a snow cave. or would it be warmer.. just curious! Confused maybe..
 

Offline BillJx

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #13 on: 04/04/2007 08:28:36 »
That really is interesting. I understand the white snow reflecting the heat back to you..I think. So a regular cave could offer you the protection from the wind chill factor.So would it still be colder then a snow cave. or would it be warmer.. just curious! Confused maybe..
A stone cave would be far colder.  So would a car.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #14 on: 05/04/2007 02:56:36 »
WHY?
 

Offline L_D

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #15 on: 07/04/2007 11:25:38 »
Hi Karen,

I don't know which would be colder or why, but you seem to think of a snow cave as a cold and foreboding place (for obvious reasons).

The snow cave I built was probrably the most peaceful place I have ever been. In the daylight hours the walls were a beautiful, faint, pale blue colour. There was a silence and a stillness like I have never experienced before or since, and you feel completely protected and insulated from the harsh outside world.

So as long as you're insulated from the snow with clothing and matting, rather than exposing you to the cold, it protects you from the cold.

I know this isn't a scientific answer to your question, but I hope it helps you think of a snowcave or igloo in a different light. Hopefully someone can give a more specific answer.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Do igloos melt?
« Reply #16 on: 07/04/2007 14:46:04 »
It sound very interesting really. I remembr once s a child my mother tkingus to see the snow on a local Hill called Kneeland. This is a place that often gets snow ner by. This year there happened to be a lot of snow. So we went with sleds and lots of warm clothes. My brother spent several hours that day tryig to make a make shift iggloo he was about 11 years old. he and his friend worked hard on it and actually for a make shift igloo, the did all right. I was probably about s years old. I do not recall the inside as much as I recall crawling into the opening of the thing. I cannot remember how cold as I had mittens, ( Layers of socks) on my hands with plastic bags, bread bags over them as my mom could not afford mittens for all of us. we had a box full of mismatched socks and plastic bread bags in the trunk of me grandmas 55 chevy! LOL I do remember sitting insid but only wondering if it was going to fall on my head and freeze me too death. I hated being cold and I still do.. LOL Although I hate being hot too!! LOL
Your cave sounds like it was very nice.Was this a purposeful adventure that you took, or was there an accident that forced you to build this cave?
 It sounds very interesting. You could count on your hans the number of times I have been to see snow, On one hand the times I have seen a lot of sow.. and my idea of a lot of snow was onlt between a foot and foot and 1/2 ft deep! not much snow and I was 6 and I am unsure of the proportions that far back.. a childs mind sometimes distorts size a bit! LOL Once as an adult I have passed through a place in Oregon that was a sky resort during a huge snow storm and it was absolutely beautiful... I had never seen anything like it in my life. Very heavy snow fall, I couldn't see in front of the car.. we had to roll windows down open door ant try to see the road where the snow plow had been. It was really beautiful. I can imagine the serinity of it for sure!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Do igloos melt?
« Reply #16 on: 07/04/2007 14:46:04 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums