Deserts and Jungles: Why Humidity Affects How Quickly You Lose Heat

Deserts and Jungles: Why Humidity Affects How Quickly You Lose Heat

When air is dry, it will sink heat more quickly. This means it will exchange heat more quickly than when the air contains more water vapor, or humidity.

There’s a particularly good natural example of this phenomenon: deserts and jungles. Deserts develop the hottest temperatures on earth during the day. Yet because of the dryness of their air, these same deserts can dip to temperatures that near or even sometimes go below freezing at night. Plants and animals have evolved to protect themselves from these two extremes.

On the other hand, jungles and rain forests have much steadier temperatures. Although most in the world become hot, they don’t rival the temperature of deserts. At the same time, they don’t experience that dip toward freezing that many hot deserts do either. This is in part because the amount of water vapor in the air helps to retain heat and regulate those extremes.

Think of it another way you’ve probably heard of before: lake-effect, or ocean-effect. If you live right on a body of water, your temperatures won’t experience quite the same highs and lows that those a few hours inland endure. This is because bodies of water help to regulate temperatures in a steadier manner.

Now, the heat retention that water vapor allows in an environment isn’t isolated from other factors. Plant life is served well by humid environments, and at the same time that plant life will help those environments retain water better.

This is why, when working in different environments or regions of the country, different elements of temperature control and humidity regulation need to be measured in unique ways. The area you live in, and its environment, offer different challenges to temperature and humidity control. This means being selective about tools and the maintenance of those tools, and being aware of the different advantages each offers you. Which will make your job easiest in your environment, and which stays within your price points for procurement and maintenance? Among hygrometers, do you want capacitive, resistive, or thermal conductivity humidity sensors? These are difficult decisions, and you shouldn’t make them alone. We’re happy to talk to you about environmental and regional concerns in keeping a space temperature- and humidity-controlled. We have a great deal of knowledge that can help you choose the best set-up.