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> May 23, 2006, High Altitude Headache
Kevin_McMahon
post May 23 2006, 09:55 PM
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One of the major concerns for scientists going to Summit is the high altitude. Because we are so high above sea level (over 10,000 feet), there is about 40% less oxygen to breathe. Think what your body would say if you took a breath, and it only got part of the oxygen it was expecting. ďHey, what is going on! Give me more oxygen! I am not going to do any more work until I get some oxygen! I mean it!Ē

Well, my body really didnít say those things but it gave me some signs that it was not used to breathing less oxygen. I was very tired. I got out of breath just walking a short distance. Some people have headaches, but I havenít had one yet. If you want to learn more about the possible dangers of traveling to a high altitude, you can visit the website listed below.

High Altitude Dangers

There is another crazy thing about high altitude. The air at Summit camp is less dense than the air in Decatur, Georgia. Look at the snack bags picture below. It was taken in Decatur, Georgia on May 18, 2006. Decatur is 915 feet above sea level. Notice that the bags seem kind of flat. There doesnít seem to be much air in them.

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Now look at the photo I took today (May 22, 2006) of these same snack bags at Summit, Greenland. The peanut butter cracker bags look different. Why do you think they got really puffy?

IPB Image

At Summit camp, we are almost 2 miles above sea level. Air pressure inside the bags is greater than the air pressure outside the bags because the air inside the bags came from a much lower altitude. The air inside the bag with a greater pressure is pushing out. It is just like when you blow up a balloon.

You may be wondering about the chocolate chip cookie bag. It didnít puff up like the other bags. Do you have any hypotheses on why this bag didnít inflate? You can reply to this journal entry with your thoughts. Donít be shy.

See you tomorrow.
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Maggie_Kane
post May 24 2006, 04:30 AM
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Wow, Kevin, that is really cool about the bags of chips! Do you think that we would see bags 1/2 inflated here in Prescott Arizona at 5800'? It is so neat to see what it looks like at the top of the ice sheet. We will keep checking in to see what comes next for you! cool.gif
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Kevin_McMahon
post May 24 2006, 11:07 AM
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Thanks for following my expedition. I like your hypothesis about what might happen to an unopened bag of chips in Prescott, Arizona (5,800'). I'll have to send you a bag of chips in the mail (along with a photo of the bag at 915') when you return from your expedition. You can share your observations with us. I don't know the answer but it would be fun to find out what happens. biggrin.gif
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