Recently I said to someone
“I believe the scientific basis of global warming is very simple: if you put more heat (energy) into something than comes out, the temperature will go up. A commonly shared experience we can all relate to is getting into your car on a 90-degree day only to find that the inside temperature is around 120-degrees, due to the trapped heat.”
I wanted to check my statement about the 120 degree Fahrenheit (48.9 degree C) temperature inside the car to see if it was true. I used a small automated weather station to get the inside and outside air temperatures and an infrared thermometer to measure surface temperatures. Here is what I found (in degrees C):
12:15 PM, Location Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Sept. 22, 2014, 2001 Honda Accord, Black.
Air temperature outside 31.6 C
Air temperature inside car 49.1 C (My statement was very close!)
Surface temperatures inside car: Dashboard 88.9 C (192 F !!!!), driver seat 50C, front floor 39 C, Radio 51.6 C, steering wheel 53 C, trunk floor 56.9 C.
Pavement outside of car 52.1
Grass area near car 33.9
My office chair 17.7 C. :-)