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Activity in a Changing Climate

Reference chapter

Question 2
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Big animals tend to be found in the polar regions and smaller animals tend to be found in hot climates. From this observation you might put forward the hypothesis (idea) that: Large animals can keep their heat in better than small animals.

We can test this idea. with the experiment described below:

Heat loss by flasks

Method:

Four flasks of different sizes were taken and set up as shown in the diagram below:

Warm water at 37C was added to each flask and they were each placed in a cold water bath. There temperature was recorded each minute for 15 minutes

TIME
/min

TEMPERATURE OF THE FLASKS /C

100 cm3

250 cm3

500 cm3

1000 cm3

0

37

37

37

37

1

32

33

34

34

2

28

29

30

31

3

25

26

28

30

4

22

24

26

28

5

19

22

24

27

6

18

20

23

26

7

16

18

21

25

8

15

17

20

25

9

14

15

19

24

10

13

14

18

24

11

12

14

17

24

12

11

13

16

23

13

11

13

16

23

14

10

13

15

23

15

10

12

15

23

(a) Plot the graph of these results by drawing the lines for each flask on the same set of axes.
(Temperature /C should be on the vertical axis.)

Graph paper

(b) What are the temperatures of the four flasks after 7,5 minutes?

(c) Which flask lost heat most quickly?

(d) Which flask lost heat most slowly?

(e) Is the idea that larger bodies hold their heat longer than smaller bodies correct?

(f) If the four flasks represent animals of different sizes:

(i) Which animal would survive best in a cold climate

(ii) Which animal would survive best in a hot climate?

(iii) Which animal would survive best in a seasonal climate (where there is a hot summer and a cold winter)?

(g) You cannot use real animals in this experiment. What would you do to make the experiment more realistic?

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