Because of its relatively low thermal conductivity, the snowpack acts as a thermal blanket, protecting the earth from rapid atmospheric temperature changes. However, the snow is not a passive player in snow-atmosphere interactions. For example, snow grain size is a function of both the accumulation event (e.g. surface hoar growth versus precipitation) and local temperature. Grain type and size have a large impact on the snow albedo, which in turn has a large impact on atmospheric heat and mass transfer processes. A change in snow albedo over a large area can influence atmospheric circulation patterns. Because snow as a material is always relatively close to its melting point under normal environmental conditions, the metamorphic processes have profound effects on its properties. In turn, the properties of the snow affect its thermal response. In order to study snow behavior, then, it is almost always imperative to understand the heat transfer component.
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.