Frost is a thin layer of ice on a solid surface, which forms from water vapor in an above freezing atmosphere coming in contact with a solid surface whose temperature is below freezing, and resulting in a phase change from water vapor (a gas) to ice (a solid) as the water vapor reaches the freezing point. In temperate climates, it most commonly appears on surfaces near the ground as fragile white crystals; in cold climates, it occurs in a greater variety of forms. The propagation of crystal formation occurs by the process of nucleation. The ice crystals of frost form as the result of fractal process development. The depth of frost crystals varies depending on the amount of time they have been accumulating, and the concentration of the water vapor (humidity). Frost crystals may be invisible (black), clear (translucent), or white; if a mass of frost crystals scatters light in all directions, the coating of frost appears white. Types of frost include crystalline frost (hoar frost, hoarfrost, radiation frost) from deposition of water vapor from air of low humidity, white frost in humid conditions, window frost on glass surfaces, advection frost from cold wind over cold surfaces, black frost without visible ice at low temperatures and very low humidity, and rime under supercooled wet conditions. Plants that have evolved in warmer climates suffer damage when the temperature falls low enough to freeze the water in the cells that make up the plant tissue. The tissue damage resulting from this process is known as "frost damage". Farmers in those regions where frost damage is known to affect their crops often invest in substantial means to protect their crops from such damage.
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