Jean-Louis Etienne
Jean-Louis Etienne - Alone on Ice pack
How man copes with the cold
Communications - Safety - Emergency assistance
Jean-Louis Etienne - Atmosphere & weather
The earth’s atmosphere  
Weather forecasting and modeling  
The climate and the north pole  
The solar energy balance  
The greenhouse effect  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Arctic ice
The ice pack: frozen saltwater  
Ice pack observation satellites  
Icebergs : frozen seawater  
The arctic ice: climate archives  
Ice ages and landscapes  
Jean-Louis Etienne - The ocean and marine life
The Arctic Ocean and the ocean currents  
Genesis of the arctic ocean  
Arctic plankton  
Oceanic biodiversity and the food chain  
Whales and other cetaceans  
Seals and walruses  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Life on land
Arctic flora  
Arctic fauna  
Polar bears  
Birds of the arctic  
Evolution of species and climate  
Jean-Louis Etienne - History and geography
Geography of the Arctic regions  
Geographic North Pole and magnetic North Pole  
Who owns the arctic ?  
Exploring the deep north  
The Inuit people  
The other peoples of the deep North  
The Arctic today  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Man's impact
Man and arctic biodiversity  
Pollution in the arctic  
Climate warming: the natural cycles  
The increase in the greenhouse effect  
The impact of global warming  
Alone on Ice pack
How man copes with the cold

Man, an animal that lives at 37°C
In order to survive, Man must keep his body temperature at close to 37°C. This is indispensable to the proper functioning of vital organs such as heart, brain, lungs, liver and kidneys. However, the peripheral areas of the body (skin, limbs…) can support much colder temperatures. But we must beware of frostbite (usually the hands and feet) and must not let our internal body temperature drop too far (hypothermia); the heart stops at 25°C.

Thermostatically controlled central heating
Our body is capable of combating the cold. Certain skin cells send warning of a fall in the outside temperature, and immediately we begin to shiver and tremble, thus generating energy, and we instinctively curl up into a ball to limit heat loss. Our organism is capable of reducing blood flow under the skin and increasing its production of heat (thermoregulation). Consuming more food (fats, hot drinks) can also help us cope with the cold.

To keep out the cold, we must… keep covered !
Both wind and humidity accentuate the effects of the cold on our body because they increase heat loss. The best protection, the best insulator is still, warm air. So the best way to keep warm is to wear multiple layers of loose clothing, covered by something to keep out the wind. But to avoid humidity, we should sweat as little as possible, so our clothing must always be suited to our activity.

Can our body adapt to the cold ?
During his solo walk to the North Pole, Jean-Louis Etienne had to bear extreme cold for several weeks. By the time he returned, his body temperature could fall to 35.5°C when he was at rest without adverse consequences. It had reached a new equilibrium that allowed it to save energy.

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