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Thread: Just wondering...

  1. #1 Just wondering... 
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    When people say that cold air cannot hold much water vapor do they literally mean that the air is cold? Or the vapor that is cold?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    The air. At 40 below the air is very dry.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by molecool View Post
    When people say that cold air cannot hold much water vapor do they literally mean that the air is cold? Or the vapor that is cold?
    Cold is a subjective measurement of temperature. Cold air feels cold and will measure a lower temperature than warm air. Warm air will allow more water vapor within the mixture of gases. On cooling, the water molecules (having lower energy) are more likely to condense on surfaces and hence the vapor is taken out of the air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by molecool View Post
    When people say that cold air cannot hold much water vapor do they literally mean that the air is cold? Or the vapor that is cold?
    Both, really. The water vapour in air is intimately mixed with it and therefore ends up at the same temperature.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by molecool View Post
    When people say that cold air cannot hold much water vapor do they literally mean that the air is cold? Or the vapor that is cold?
    Both, really. The water vapour in air is intimately mixed with it and therefore ends up at the same temperature.
    Any water vapor dissolved in the other gases is part of the "air". There is dry air, or high humidity air so certainly the air mixture alters from time to time, but also the other gasses could vary e.g higher CO2 levels, or low oxygen levels.
    Air is a mixture so the proportions will vary. There would be issues with mixing too.
    Air Composition
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    Thanks
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