Letter to the editor: Know your temperaturesLast week’s News-Chronicle had a paragraph (in Lake County Past) regarding temperature. The question was: “How cold would it be if it were zero one morning and twice as cold the next?”
Last week’s News-Chronicle had a paragraph (in Lake County Past) regarding temperature. The question was: “How cold would it be if it were zero one morning and twice as cold the next?”
Assuming they meant zero degrees Fahrenheit, the answer is minus-230 degrees Fahrenheit. To do this calculation, you must first add 460, because in Fahrenheit absolute zero is approximately minus-460 degrees.
So it calculates like this: (0 F+ 460) / 2 (twice as cold) = 230. Now subtract out the original 460 and you have minus-230 F (which is halfway between 0 F and absolute zero, minus-460 F).
So don’t ever wish it to be twice as cold as yesterday. Even when it is 100 degrees out. Twice as cold would be minus-180.
The paragraph also made the assumption that 100 degrees Fahrenheit is twice as warm as 50, but actually it would be only 10 percent warmer (50 F + 460 = 510 and 100 F + 460 = 560) which is only about 10 percent more.
Basically, in the temperature range that we live, every 5 degree F rise or fall is about a 1 percent absolute change in temperature.
Interestingly, most people can tell if you lower the home thermostat from 68 to 65, yet that is only a 0.5 percent drop in absolute temperature, which shows just how sensitive we are to temperature changes.
From Tom Peterson, Knife River