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El_Cadejo's avatar

How are we able to modulate the temperature we exhale?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34029 points ) February 28th, 2014

Depending on the way I exhale I can modulate if I breathe warm or cold air onto my hand when placed in front of my mouth. If I breathe out quickly and in a confined stream it is cold where as if I breathe out slowly in a more dispersed stream in it warm, why is this?

I have theory that it’s because when I breathe out quickly in a controlled rate it affects the convection heat loss rate, and allows sweat to evaporate quicker and thus, make my hand feel cooler, akin to the feeling of a fan blowing on me, but I’m not exactly sure of what is going on. Is this what is causing it to feel warmer of colder or is there something else going on?

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