24. Winter Refuge
For us humans, snow and ice seems like a very uncomfortable obstacle to living. Yet for many critters and plants, they can be a refuge from the cold and the bone chilling winds. Put 20 cm of fresh snow on the ground and regardless of what the temperature does at the top of the snowpack, very little change is felt at the bottom. Similarly, with ice coating the lake, the water temperature changes very little with the day's changes in temperature as well. This is a life saving phenomena for many forms of life and is one of the threats of global warming - these lifeforms may not have the full protection from the cold that they so urgently require in the future.
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