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It’s Cold Outside!

January 7, 2010

Much of the country is dealing with frigid weather currently. In some parts of the U.S., the temperature is dropping as low as -52F (with the wind chill) and receiving lots of snow in the process. This cold weather is being blamed for the deaths of several people. But, can a person freeze to death?

According to Live Science, you will be happy to know that “death strikes long before our body freezes.” I’m not sure if that’s really any more comforting. Instead of freezing to death, we should worry more about hypothermia setting in because it can lead to amnesia, losing consciousness and finally death. Don’t forget about our wonderful friend, frostbite. There’s nothing like losing a toe or finger.

Don’t fret though. Humans have a knack at adapting to extreme temperatures. “People who expose themselves to cold frequently can adapt to the frigid temperatures, producing and retaining heat more effectively”, says Michael Sawka who is chief of the Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division at USARIEM.

And in case you are wondering if your tongue will stick to a frozen flagpole, the answer is “yes.”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2010 6:52 pm

    Everybody knows the answer to the flagpole question. Haven’t you ever watched a Christmas Story? You can also try it with a really cold popsicle… then just patiently wait for the popsicle to melt.

  2. Xuanie permalink
    January 12, 2010 10:41 am

    “People who expose themselves to cold frequently can adapt to the frigid temperatures, producing and retaining heat more effectively.” This should be comforting to you as you are probably going to be in KC for a LONG time. LOL.

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