Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It isn't the cold, it is the humidity

Michele - Yes, that is snow on Mt. Wellington viewed from the house we are staying at in Hobart. A few days before we arrived, it was snowing at sea level, a remarkable event even for Hobart. Hobart, at the southern side of Tasmania, gets its weather straight from the southern Ocean. Yeah, that same ocean that swirls around Antarctica. The high today was 6˚ Celsius, which in New England units is partway between wicked cold and pretty cold. But it isn’t really the cold or the humidity, it is the lack of insulation. I’ve heard Tim way up in Brisbane lament the lack of insulation but I was very surprised that even houses here in Hobart, at 43˚ south latitude, lack insulation. The temperature outside is pretty much the temperature inside most buildings. Furthermore, in a country rich in petroleum resources, I’m surprised that nearly all the heating in Tasmania is electric. No insulation + high electric costs = buildings remain cold.

The coldest room I’ve been in so far is the ladies toilet (restroom) at work (University of Tasmania Center of Excellence in Ore Deposits). There is no heat in the room but also the windows of the toilet do not close so the temperature inside is indeed the SAME as the temperature outside. Talk about leaving the ladies vulnerable! Needless to say, everyone is very quick with their business and there isn’t any chit chat in that room.


  1. Center of Excellence in Ore Deposits? Sounds like a fun place! I'll bet there are tons of cool rocks around. What kind of research are you doing there? Enjoy! Cathy Cullicott

  2. It's astonishing isn't it? Tasmania is apparently pretty similar to New Zealand in this regard - wicked cold + no insulation. It's nuts. Poor design.