All about ice - cold or warm

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A SHEFFIELD University scientist has explained why some of this month’s ice has been slippy - while at other times it is almost grippy underfoot.

Professor Chris Clark says the freezing temperatures – which have reached as low as -13C in the UK – have created ‘sticky’ cold ice.

But when the ice starts to melt, at about -1C to 0C, the ‘warm ice’ has a thin layer of meltwater on its surface and becomes slippy, transforming footpaths and roads into ice rinks.

Professor Clark, who is leading a £3.7 million ice sheet and sea level research project, said: “Most people think of ice as cold. Those who know ice know that some is cold and some is warm. Cold ice, say minus five, is actually fairly grippy.”

Professor Clark is an expert on glaciers and ice sheets.