Twice as hot? I think not.

Earlier today, I had to run out and drop a bunch of DVDs into the mail, and regretted the decision to go outside about twenty seconds after I walked into the sunlight.

No, I didn’t explode into flame as some of you asserted that I might, but the temperature – about 32ºC (89.5ºF) at the time, was overwhelming, plus the humidity. I’ve never liked the summer heat, even less so as it gets more humid.

What got this post started was as I was walking from shady spot to shady spot, I overhead a conversation two people were having.

It’s twice as hot this week as it was last week.

Once I stopped twitching, I thought this could make a good blog post.  So, here’s the thing:

Half of thirty degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) is not fifteen degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).

Half of 30ºC is actually minus 120ºC (-184ºF) – a temperature at which exposed skin will freeze in less than thirty seconds,probably less. Actually, 15ºC (59ºF) is about 5% cooler than 30ºC (86ºF).

Why?

Because Celsius’ zero point is set to the freezing point of water and not absolute zero, which is -273.15ºC or zero degrees Kelvin (-459.67°F), which is actually where we should be starting from.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll use Lord Kelvin’s handy scale to do the math and then convert back to Celsius.

So:

30ºC is 30+273 = 303ºK
15ºC is 15+273 = 288ºK

To get a percentage, we multiply 288 by 100 (28,800) and divide by 303, which results in 95.049, meaning that 288ºK is ~95% of 303ºK.

What’s amazing is that we can survive in such a narrow temperature range – unprotected from the elements for prolonged periods of time, we can’t live under +5ºC/+278ºK (41ºF) or above 40ºC/313ºK (104ºF).

If I’ve made any glaring errors, do let me know.

 

3 thoughts on “Twice as hot? I think not.”

  1. My body disagrees with you… :P Also, why would you start from 0 kelvin? You make me want to sick reddit on you sometimes…lol

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