Wednesday, June 15, 2011

shivering in the tropics

Ok, so you think about the tropics and most of you will think HEAT. And this is true. In part atleast. Yes the air temperature ranges between 35-40C and the sea between 28-30C. Yet for many a marine biologist doing fieldwork in the tropics means a lot of shivering cold. We spend most of the day on boats, exposed to all the elements, so no shortage of getting soaked by (cooler) rain and then being blown about for hours while remaining damp. Allright that may not be much of a convincer to some. The major source of shivering comes from the ages we spend under the water. 30C is pretty warm for seawater, yet it is still a good 7C lower than body temperature. When you spend 2 hrs diving, barely moving while you are recording data, even with a 5mm wetsuit, you can come up shivering. Well we do at least. If it’s sunny the shivering can subside soon enough, however we’ve had mostly rainy days so that meant quite continuous shivering. Sometimes I think I’ve never felt so cold as in the tropics….

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