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Hot Dog! How I Used GLOBE Science to Help My Puppy (Part 2)


These are the results from my surface temperature experiment that I discussed in my previous blog post (same title, part 1).

Results and Conclusion:

Graph of average surface temperatures of the three surfaces over three days including air temperature data lines.
Figure 2: Graph of average surface temperatures of the three surfaces over three days including air temperature data lines.

My results show that my hypothesis was half right (remember, it’s ok if your data results do not match your hypothesis!). During the day, asphalt was the hottest, concrete was in the middle, and grass was the coolest. The surface temperatures of all three dropped at night, however, I was incorrect about asphalt retaining significantly more heat than concrete (I use significantly in a qualitative way since I did not run any statistical analysis to determine actual or quantitative “significance”). As you can see in the graph above, the temperatures at night for the asphalt and concrete are pretty similar, when I averaged the data from all three nights, there was only about a half a degree difference between them.

The takeaway here is that asphalt is hot! If you’re out there walking your dog or cat or duck or toddler, think about that. However hot it is in the air, it’s even hotter on the asphalt, even when it is cloudy. It was cloudy on 2 of my measurement days  and the temperatures of the asphalt and concrete were still much higher than the air. If you look at the graph, you can see on 24 June, when it was sunny out, the temperature of the asphalt skyrocketed. So if possible, do not walk your pets during the hottest time of day and when you do walk your pets try to walk on the grass. If that is not an option, at least try stick to the concrete and avoid the asphalt as much as possible.

Buddy in Booties
Figure 3: Buddy Guy models booties, another option to protect your pet’s paws. He hates them. His face says “why are you doing this to me, just walk me at night please.”

 

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