Heat and Cold


Who was Paul A. Siple and how is he associated with the concept of the wind chill factor?

The Antarctic explorer Paul A. Siple (1908–1968) coined the term in his 1939 dissertation, “Adaption of the Explorer to the Climate of Antarctica.” Siple was the youngest member of Rear Admiral Richard Byrd’s (1888–1957) Antarctica expedition (1928–1930) and later made other trips to the Antarctic as part of Byrd’s staff and for the U.S. Department of the Interior assigned to the U.S. Antarctic Expedition. Siple later conducted experiments using a container of water subjected to specific temperatures and wind speeds to see how fast it would freeze. He also served in many other endeavors related to the study of cold climates.

At McMurdo Station, Antarctica, a bust of Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd commemorates the famous explorer and aviator. (photo by Michael Van Woert, NOAA NESDIS, ORA)

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