I’m just snuggled up by my fireplace on a cold rainy day which is inspiring me to talk about the cold, specifically hypothermia.
Problems with the cold have been on my mind a lot lately. I did just return from working in Antarctica where it was quite cold. Since being back in California, it has been raining and snowing, a lot. We are being hit by the “atmospheric river,” and while these are relatively warm storms, it is still colder and damper than most people are used to – especially in sunny California. On top of that, I recently attended a lecture by the renowned cold physiology scientist, Dr. Giesbrecht aka Dr. Popsicle, on hypothermia and crevasse rescue[i].
All of this led me to write this article. Let’s talk about what’s going on physiologically when we get cold, discuss the decision process needed to determine when it is causing a problem, and the actions to take to prevent it from becoming something significant (AKA hypothermia).
So, first things first, cold will always be a problem when we are losing heat faster than we can replace it.