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Old 11-08-2010, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Rural South Australia
41 posts, read 48,022 times
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Default Is a Cold Climate Or A Hot Climate Easier to Adjust Too?

Not sure if this question has been asked before, but do you find a cold climate or a hot climate easier to adjust too?

I'm not meaning here, just minor variations, such as between cool temperate and warm temperate climates, but a comparison of life living at the extremes, say a tropical climate/desert climate on the one hand and a cold continental climate (such as that experience in most of the North-East and Mid-West of the USA).

Particularly interested of course, to hear from those who have experienced both.

On the one hand, many say that a hot climate is easier to adjust to; it is generally assumed that the human body is most naturally suited to such a climate. I have also heard many Americans and Canadians complain about the sheer inconvenience of living in a cold climate, ie having to clear large amounts of snow away from the house during winter.

OTOH, others say that a hot climate is worse to adjust to; as the saying goes, in a cold climate you can always put another layer of clothing on but in a hot climate there is a limit to what you can take off.

As an Australian, who's never lived in North America, I've always thought it the idea of living in a place with a continental climate (such as New York City, Toronto, etc) would be 'interesting' (though not sure whether in a good way or a bad way). The sheer seasonal variation in temperature in what I would find interesting.

Here in Australia, almost all population centres have seasonal variations (January-July comparison, etc) of under 20C (36F), with most having less than a 15C (27F) variation. The experience of what it is like to live in a climate that gets extremely cold, snowy winters with warm, humid summers, is almost unknown here.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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I think a lot of it isn't adjustment,
but genetic abilities too cool off or stay warm easily.
Physical shape can make staying warm or cooling down easier too.

"...Can always put on more clothes in cold?.." ? I can't.
But give me a cold glass of water at 37 C/98 F and I'm good to go...
while other people experience heat illness at 31 C/88 F.

I live near Toronto.
I have seen -30 C a few times.
I have also seen a humid 30 C sunrise here, passing 32 C by 8 am.
Our hottest days here often feel like you're taking a hot bath with all your clothes on.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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I think it depends on the person and also what measures you take to protect yourself against the elements. Hot climates tend to be easier to adjust to in my opinion as you don't need much preparation - just carry around a cold bottle of water with you and you're good to go.
Cold climates with lots of snow are much more inconvenient in my mind as you have to shovel snow, buy lots of extra clothes to keep you warm and do extra preparations for your car to deal with cold temperatures.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I have lived in both extremes in my life courtesy of the US Air Force. Two years in Alaska and one was at a Radar Site along the Artic Circle. Cold could not even come close to describing that climate. Another year was spent in Mississippi in the hot and humid Southern USA.

I would have to say the hot climate was much easier to adjust to, as only a polar bear could adjust to that extreme of cold in the Artic.

Adjusting to climates really does depend on the person as we are all different. I no longer like cold climates at all, but I would not want to live in a hot box like Mississippi either. Something between hot and cold I guess.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Cloudchurch, Subantarctica
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I've only ever lived in an oceanic climate where we almost never see extremes of hot or cold. But I imagine I would much prefer a hot climate. Even the very hottest climates would have some days with more moderate temps. But a lot of polar climates are cold every day of the year or have a very brief period in which one can comfortably spend time outdoors.

It's true that you can layer on clothing to deal with cold, but I find bulky clothing uncomfortable. I'd far rather be sitting on a wide verrandah under an umbrella sipping iced tea.

Not to mention all the problems that come with extreme cold. Apparently in parts of Canada people need to install engine block warmers in their cars and plug them in when they park to prevent their engine fluids from freezing. I've also heard of electronic equipment being damaged by cold.

I had a near-death experience last winter when my car slipped on a patch of black ice. After that, I'd be happy to live in a frost-free area.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesterNZ View Post
Apparently in parts of Canada people need to install engine block warmers in their cars and plug them in when they park to prevent their engine fluids from freezing. I've also heard of electronic equipment being damaged by cold.
It may not be 100% but most auto manufacturers actually have engine block heaters as standard equipment on all of their cars sold in Canada. It is true that they are not needed in all parts of Canada but it is too much of a hassle to differentiate so they just include them in all of them. Plus, Canadians from milder areas often travel to colder areas, so they may need them...

In many parts of Canada the outdoor parking areas of apartment buildings will sometimes have a little post at the front of each parking space with an electrical outlet so you can plug in your car on cold nights.

I have been in northern Canadian cities where it was so cold that your windshield would ice up in seconds as soon as you turned the defrost off, and have also had the feeling of driving on square tires because the tires' rubber had frozen into a square shape because of the weight of the car on them when it was parked for a while!
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Thumbs up To give you a taste of life in a "severely" cold winter

^^ Most people in the Golden Horshoe don't have block heaters.

It's mild enough here that nobody uses them.
We still see many mornings into the -20's C, but it doesn't bother our cars.

Block-heaters aren't to keep fluids from freezing.
Fluids they have in them have anti-freeze, if needed. (oil won't freeze)

Block heaters are for warming the oil, since oil can thicken in extreme cold.
So thicker oil would add more resistance to engine cranking.
Compound that with how all batteries loose efficiency in extreme cold,
so you are also trying to start a car with 1/10th the battery's amperage that it can supply at 20 degrees C.
(in temps above freezing, batteries are designed to have way more power than they need )

A side benefit is that by warming the oil and (indirectly) engine block,
your coolant is also warmed up quicker,
and your cabin's heating system works by hot coolant with a heat exchanger.

Since Torontonians don't use block heaters,
a typical -20 C low means that for the first 10 minutes of operation,
there is negligable amounts of cabin heat,
and you're car's cabin is likely still below freezing; keep your coat, hat and mitts on!

20 minutes later, it feels okay, (5-10 C?)
30-40 minutes later it can be comfy (15-20 C?)
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
9,370 posts, read 9,909,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdCanadian View Post
^^ Most people in the Golden Horshoe don't have block heaters.

It's mild enough here that nobody uses them.
We still see many mornings into the -20's C, but it doesn't bother our cars.

Block-heaters aren't to keep fluids from freezing.
Fluids they have in them have anti-freeze, if needed. (oil won't freeze)

Block heaters are for warming the oil, since oil can thicken in extreme cold.
So thicker oil would add more resistance to engine cranking.
Compound that with how all batteries loose efficiency in extreme cold,
so you are also trying to start a car with 1/10th the battery's amperage that it can supply at 20 degrees C.
(in temps above freezing, batteries are designed to have way more power than they need )

A side benefit is that by warming the oil and (indirectly) engine block,
your coolant is also warmed up quicker,
and your cabin's heating system works by hot coolant with a heat exchanger.

Since Torontonians don't use block heaters,
a typical -20 C low means that for the first 10 minutes of operation,
there is negligable amounts of cabin heat,
and you're car's cabin is likely still below freezing; keep your coat, hat and mitts on!

20 minutes later, it feels okay, (5-10 C?)
30-40 minutes later it can be comfy (15-20 C?)
Hence the popularity of remote starters, where you can start your car from inside the house and have it all warmed up by the time you are ready to leave. People with remote starters tend to leave the heater setting on maximum "blow" and heat when they lock it up for the night. Some people use the remote starter so much in advance of their departure that the heat inside the car will melt most of the snow and ice that has accumulated on the windows overnight. So they don't have to clean it off.

It doesn't usually melt the snow off the rest of the car though, so many people drive off in what is called an "igloo" with just the windows snow-free. It is actually illegal to do this because large chunks of snow can blow off your car and hit other vehicles or pedestrians.

Remote starters are not very ecological either.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
9,370 posts, read 9,909,004 times
Reputation: 3600
Also, engine block heaters are not recommended unless the temperature is colder than -15 C or even -18 C. If you are parking in a garage (even uninsulated), like I do, it only rarely gets down to lower than this temperature in there so you don't generally need to plug it in.

I have also noticed that newer apartment building parking areas in my city tend to not have plug-ins for cars. This may be because newer vehicles are better at cold-weather starting.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
25,916 posts, read 12,419,079 times
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unless you have an old diesel car, and then you need an engine block heater when it gets a bit below freezing.

I'd say it's easier to adjust to heat than cold. People from places without much of a summer (like England) like to talk about nice hot days not cold days. But for those not used to humidity, humid heat might make heat adjustment more difficult.
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