Science Made Simple

What makes a sea wave break, and why are clouds white?

We explore some of the curious questions that science can answer

Wednesday 06 October 2021 21:30
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<p>In shallow water, the water on top of a wave travels faster than the water underneath </p>

In shallow water, the water on top of a wave travels faster than the water underneath

What makes a sea wave “break”?

In a sense, it trips over its own feet. Waves move more slowly in shallow water than in deep water. This makes the bottom of a large wave travel more slowly than the top. Eventually the crest of the wave gets so far ahead of the water that is supporting it below that it falls over – so the wave breaks.

Why do we get more sunlight in the summer than in the winter?

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