Please Explain: Cold

Friday, January 23, 2009

Please Explain is all about cold - which many of us may have been feeling lately, with high temperatures rarely going above the 30s lately here in NYC! Dr. John Castellani is Research Physiologist with the US Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine. Dr. David Phillips is one of Canada’s best-known climatologists.


Dr. John Castellani and Dr. David Phillips

Comments [14]

Sheila Doyle from Rye, NY

I have an autoimmune disease that causes severe raynaud's syndrome. Since I feel the cold more than most people, does this make me more likely to get frostbite?

Jan. 23 2009 02:04 PM
Ellen from NJ

Being from Scandinavian descent, I'd disagree that Scandinavians have less facial hair. I have noticed that it seems like Asians and Latinos tend to have less facial and body hair, maybe because of warmer temperatures.

Jan. 23 2009 02:00 PM
Ellen from Brooklyn

In regards to Brendan's comment, I think a lot of that has to do with overall body size (more relative fat but a smaller body in general) as well as clothing choices. Woman's clothing tends to be much thinner in order to be more figure flattering. You also don't see men in knee length skirts out in the winter

Jan. 23 2009 02:00 PM
stephanie from brooklyn from brooklyn

with regard to the question about pregnant women feeling hotter, it is because they double their blood volume during pregnancy.

Jan. 23 2009 02:00 PM
Rich from Glen Cove

Why dont we hear about wind chill in the summer or heat index in the winter?

Jan. 23 2009 01:58 PM
D Corwin from Teaneck

With respect to humid conditions feeling colder, humid air conducts heat better than dry air which is an extremely good insulator. The insulating ability of clothing is related to the air in it and not the material itself. So it becomes a poor insulator in humid weather.

Jan. 23 2009 01:54 PM
Mary from NJ

I was just curious if people burn more calories in the cold than the heat--I was told that animals kept outside needed to have their calories increased, even if they had enough body fat to withstand the heat?

Jan. 23 2009 01:51 PM
D Corwin from Teaneck

Concerning the remark that it seems to be warmer when it starts to snow, the explanation for this is that there is a physical reaction occurring in which water is going from an unstructured gas to a crystal and this produces heat thus warming the atmosphere.

Jan. 23 2009 01:50 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Some people, especially some of those w/asthma, have a reaction to cold resembling an allergic reaction. Why does this happen?

And does the difference in body fat the guests just mentioned to explain the difference in how men & women experience cold also apply to thinner & fatter people in each sex?

Jan. 23 2009 01:49 PM
Mark Knoll from Peapack, NJ

What can your guest tell us about Reynauds Syndrome? My extremities go dead sometimes when I am exposed to cold for even a brief period of time. Sometimes it's fine (I can run outside even in very low temperatures and be fine, but if I am standing still (hunting for example) it happens regularly.


Jan. 23 2009 01:48 PM

Your guest just suggested that due to a females higher body fat, she would not feel cold as easily, but its been my experience that women feel cold sooner than men

Jan. 23 2009 01:46 PM
Cynthia from Manhattan

Do dogs need to wear coats?

Jan. 23 2009 01:46 PM
Conrad Youngren from Yonkers

Isn't this moist air thesis backwards. Heat loss due evaporation declines when the humidy in the surrounding air is higher, no? Obviously the temperature of the heat sink and air motion at the skin surface contribute to heat transfer rate & how cold it "feels."

Jan. 23 2009 01:45 PM
Carrie Cantor from Montclair, NJ

What makes cold air "feel" cold and uncomfortable to us? Cold is just a matter of molecules moving more slowly. Why does that feel painful to us? Why does it cause us harm?

Jan. 23 2009 01:43 PM

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