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Keep your drinks cool by avoiding humidity, scientists say

Scientists say that condensation can lead to warmer drinks
Scientists say that condensation can lead to warmer drinks

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

April 25, 2013 — Have trouble keeping your drinks cool in warm weather? Scientists say heat isn't the problem -- it's the humidity.

Climate scientists at the University of Washington have figured out how to keep drinks warm on a hot summer day.

It's all about avoiding humidity.

According to researchers, the tiny drops of condensation that form on cold beverage cans in warm weather can have a big impact on the liquid inside.

In one study, it was discovered that when condensation droplets four thousandths of an inch thick cover a cold can, it could cause the container to heat the beverage by 9F.

Another experiment suggests that during a typical summer in New Orleans, condensation can warm a drink by 6F in as little as five minutes.

If you're looking to keep your drinks cool, try using a beer koozie -- or some other form of fabric insulation.

"Probably the most important thing the beer koozie does is not simply insulate the can, but keep condensation from forming on the outside of it," said Dale Durran, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, in a statement.

The complete study can be found in the April issue of Physics Today.

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