This worksheet supports Common Core State Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9

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Extreme Temperatures (Grades 11-12)

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Extreme Temperatures

A blisteringly hot summer afternoon or a bitterly cold winter morning may feel like quite different environments, but they share a common factor: severe danger. Temperature extremes on both ends of the thermometer carry inherent risks to all living creatures. Many animal species follow their instincts and know when to seek shelter or hibernate. Human beings are not always as intuitive, and decide to challenge nature's seasonal threats. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is often the true victor in these situations.

Exposure to extreme heat, whether due to a powerful sun, or to the intense temperatures inside buildings, can result in everything from relatively mild heat exhaustion to the potentially fatal heat stroke. A number of internal and external factors impact how people cope with extreme heat. For example, age, weight, medical conditions, clothing, and the type of work being done can all affect a person's ability to tolerate high temperatures. The issue can be further complicated if there is high humidity or a lack of adequate air circulation.

Exposure to extreme cold is also quite threatening. Frostbite, especially to extremities such as fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes, is a danger. The greatest risk is hypothermia, in which the body loses its ability to warm itself. Without medical attention, it can be lethal. Dealing with the cold is additionally difficult if there is a strong wind or any type of precipitation.

Protection against extreme weather conditions is simple if people are educated about the risks. Knowing what symptoms to watch for, what clothing to wear - or not wear, and when to seek medical help is what keeps the temperature part of nature rather than a menace.
Which factor is most dangerous to someone suffering from possible hypothermia?
  1. Exposure to wind
  2. Lack of ventilation
  3. Extreme humidity
  4. Rising temperatures
What is the primary way to prevent danger from extreme temperatures?
  1. Shut down businesses during extreme variances in temperature.
  2. Educate people as to possible risks, prevention and treatments.
  3. Check workers for symptoms during particular times of the year.
  4. Wear protective types of clothing that covers up all exposed skin.
What do extreme cold and extreme heat have in common?
  1. Both occur in every part of the United States.
  2. Both are serious concerns in most business environments.
  3. Both carry serious risks to workers if they are exposed.
  4. Both result in the death of everyone involved.

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