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Temperature

TemperatureTemperature is the measurement of how hot or cold something is and changes in temperature occur when there is an exchange of energy between substances. Temperature generally is measured in one of three different scales: Fahrenheit (°F), Celsius (°C), and kelvin (K). Fahrenheit is a non-metric temperature scale used almost exclusively in the United States. Celsius is a metric temperature scale use by most other countries and some scientists. It was devised by dividing the freezing and boiling point of water into 100 equal parts. A lesser known metric temperature scale is kelvin which is used by some scientists, like astronomers, when making calculations because it has no negative values. The kelvin scale begins at absolute zero which is a hypothetical temperature were there a complete absence of heat energy. On this dashboard temperature is shown in Celsius. Refer to the chart below to see how these temperature scales compare.

  kelvin (K) Celsius (°C) Fahrenheit (°F)
Boiling point of water 373.15 100 212
Average human body temperature 310.15 37 98.6
Average spring temperature in North Florida 294.26 21.11 70
Melting point of ice/Freezing point of water 273.15 0 32
Absolute zero 0 -273.15 -459.67

There are several factors that can affect water temperature. They include the surface area of the water body, turbulence of the water, amount of solar radiation, air turbulence, and the temperature difference between water and its surroundings. For groundwater emerging from the springs, other factors such as how long the water has been underground, and the temperature of the rock that the water moves through determines the temperature of the water. In Florida, spring-water temperatures range from 19°C to 36°C (66°F to 97°F), with the average temperature in North Florida around 21°C (70°F).

Usually the temperature of groundwater emerging from any particular spring remains constant regardless of the air temperature. Temperature affects the type and rate of chemical reactions and microbial activity occurring in the water. Since temperature has this affect, several parameters measured by scientists use equations to correct for temperature in order to more easily compare measurements over time and at different locations. Also many plants and animals can only survive in specific temperature ranges, and springs provide a relatively stable environment for these organisms. Springs also provide a refuge of relatively warmer water in the cold winter months for animals such as Manatees, and a wonderful place to cool off in the hot summer months for all of us humans.