Both global warming and the popularity of downhill skiing are on the rise, a trend that probably seems a little counterintuitive. Hiding behind the scenes are snowmaking machines, which every year convert millions of gallons of water into money-making snow.
YouTuber Tom Scott went to Norway to get an understanding of the basic science behind snowmaking, and also the scale needed to blanket an entire mountain in man-made snow. The machines use a fan to accelerate a finely-tuned mix of water and air at high speeds, evaporating some of the water, which cools the remainder, causing a few tiny rain drops to freeze into ice particles, giving nucleation sites for the rest of the water to turn to snow. It’s a faintly similar process to what happens in a cloud, just sped up and then plowed into the shape of a ski slope.