a: Dew point ~
b: squeezing the sponge

What: "What makes the water vapor held in the air turn into liquid or solid particles that can fall to Earth? The answer is that the air is naturally cooled. When air cools to the dew point, the air is saturated with water. Think about extracting water from a moist sponge. To release the water, you have to squeeze the sponge-that is, reduce its ability to hold water. In the atmosphere, chilling the air beyond the dew point is like squeezing the sponge-it reduces the air's ability to hold water, forcing some water vapor molecules to change state to form water droplets or ice crystals."

Writer: Alan H. Strahler
Date: Aug 5 2014 7:01 PM

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