How does change in temperatures affect breathing specifically with individuals who have COPD.

COPD and Climate change.

Conceptual Inquiry- How does change in temperatures affect breathing specifically with individuals who have COPD.
Quantitative Inquiry- How much can the changes in convection influence the amount of air inhaled and exhaled during different climate changes.
Convection is the transfer of heat through the movement of fluids.
Here, I got to investigate how the transfer of heat in air (a fluid) can influence the breathing habits of an individual with COPD. Seasonal exacerbations of COPD symptoms can become so terrible that individuals who are places in hot or humid temperatures may move to a cooler climate. I will attempt to explain this, the heat that they experience as well as add my own knowledge of physics.
Firstly, I must mention that I examined a journal article straight out of the International Journal for COPD. What’s great about the article is that it examined individuals in different climate for instance, the northern and southern hemisphere as well as the tropics. The findings were as follows:

Now above the diagrams show the symptoms of COPD and at what temperatures they were more prevalent to occur. Thus, to give a better look, I will be examining wheezing and coughing further.

The diagram above from the previous showing indicates the percentage of individuals who exhibited wheezing during certain temperatures. To elaborate at lower temperatures we see higher percentages of wheezing but at higher temperatures we see more frequent wheezing percentages and the same follows with the diagram below.

So, here’s where I’m taking this. With the existence of convection currents there is an understanding that as cold air encounters hot air it becomes hot and vice versa. However, under windy, cold or even humid conditions there may be differences, I hope to explore this.
So from the diagram let’s find the change in heat.
Surrounding temperature Cold = 10 degrees Celsius
Surrounding temperature room= 21 degrees celcuis
Surrounding temperature hot/humid=
Body temperature= 37 degrees Celsius.
The convective heat transfer coefficient of air= 100w/m2 C
Surface area of lungs= 50m2
I will exclude time for the purpose of understanding only the heat transfer.

Cold Temperature
Q/ t =A hc (To-Tꝏ)
Q= A hc (To-Tꝏ)
=50 m2 x 100 W/m2 C (37- 10)o
= 135000 W

Room Temperature
Q/ t =A hc (To-Tꝏ)
Q= A hc (To-Tꝏ)
=50 m2 x 100 W/m2 C (37- 21)o
= 80000 W

Hot/ Humid Temperatures
Q/ t =A hc (To-Tꝏ)
Q= A hc (To-Tꝏ)
=50 m2 x 100 W/m2 C (37- 60)o
= -115000 W

The calculations I have presented show exactly why change in climate or temperature of a surrounding can affect an individual with COPD.
At normal room temperature there is only a heat transfer of 80000W at this temperature we see that individuals do not find difficulty breathing. However, when there is a higher transfer of heat such as that in the cold temperatures and hot/ humid temperatures individuals will experience COPD symptoms.
I did see limitations to understanding this. Since heat cannot be converted to work done so I could not determine how much more work an individual would have to do to breathe in different climates.
In conclusion, I mentioned before that according to the above diagrams we see a higher percentage of wheezing and coughing. This is explained by the heat transfer we got for cold temperatures which was 135000W since heat will flow from a warm body temperature to a more cold outer surrounding temperature thus explaining the more positive answer. Moreover, in more hot/humid temperatures we see a -115000 heat transfer since there is a flow of heat from a more warm body temperature to a warmer or hotter surrounding temperature. This explains there being more frequent wheezing percentages.

Reference
Donaldson, G. C., & Wedzicha, J. A. (2014). The causes and consequences of seasonal variation in COPD exacerbations. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, 9, 1101–1110. http://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S54475
Link to article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4199860/

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