It makes intuitive sense to any kid, but don’t be too quick to chuckle…it’s actually true. Many people assume sun power on the slopes is a result of sun reflecting off of the snow (up to 90% of rays are reflected). That’s a big part of it, but altitude is a factor as well.
radiation increases by 17-22% with every 1,000 meters of elevation. UVA increases by 11%. Why? It’s less a question of pure distance to the sun, than of distance within the Earth’s atmosphere. Different types of light have differing capacities to penetrate air (and our skin). UVB is powerful, but not terribly good at penetrating air or skin.…which is why its strength increases the closer you get to the source. UVA is less strong, but more penetrating, so must of it gets through to sea level…getting closer to the sun less dramatically increases UVA impact. See, you can learn from your kids…and don’t forget the sunscreen!
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