Perceptive Temperature Difference Between 0 ft and 9,000 ft

  • Thread starter aquaflight
  • Start date
  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Question:
If the temperature at both 9,000 ft and 0 ft (sea level) is 32 F, how much warmer would it feel at 9,000 ft due to the reduced thermal capacity of the air caused by lower air pressures?

Available Facts:
Air has 28.5% less pressure at 9,000 ft compared with sea level (0 ft). 10.5 psi vs 14.7 psi respectively.

More Details:
At sea level, a person who has a core temperature of 98.6 F who is standing in 32 F dry air would experience a relative temperature difference of 66.6 F. If this same person stood in 32 F dry air at 9,000 ft would he or she only experience a temperature difference of 47.5 F because of the reduced thermal capacity of the air?

Calculations:
0 ft = 98.6 F - 32 F = 66.6 F temperature difference
9,000ft = 66.6 F temperature difference * 71.45% air pressure difference = 47.5 F perceptive temperature difference

Conclusion:
If the above calculations are correct, would a person standing in 32 F dry air at 9,000 ft feel as if he or she is standing in 51 F dry air at sea level (98.6 F - 47.5 F) due to the reduced thermal capacity of the air?

Thank you very much,
Aquaflight
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,568
5,842
Well, if you're heating a building it definitely matters a lot, by the proportion you derived. For yourself, it would matter a little less because radiation and evaporation both play a pretty significant role in your heat loss.
 

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