1. The Dallas Cowboys football team plays the Denver Broncos in Denver.
Why does the Dallas football team have problems breathing when they arrive in Denver?
Answer: The cowboys are use to the density of the air in Dallas, which is at an altitude of about 500 feet above sea level. At this low altitude the density of the air is greater than it is in Denver, thus the amount of available oxygen is greater ion Dallas than it is in Denver.
2. Why doesn’t the altitude affect the Bronco team?Answer: The blood in your body has a special chemical that picks up oxygen in your lungs and transfers it to the cells of your body. This chemical is called hemoglobin. The amount of hemoglobin in your blood depends on where you live. At a lower altitude, the density of air is greater thus the amount of available oxygen is greater. If you travel to a higher altitude than where you normally live, the decrease in the amount of oxygen available triggers your body to take emergency action to fix the problem. Since you cannot change the air around you, you need a higher concentration of hemoglobin in your blood. It takes time for your body to make more hemoglobin, but your body can reduce the amount of plasma in your blood that the hemoglobin is dissolved in. Like the sugar solution above, when the solvent is decreased and the solute remains the same, the concentration of the solute increases.
For every increase of 1000 feet, it takes your body about one day to adjust. So for the Cowboys to be at their best they need to arrive in Denver at an altitude of about 5 280 feet, at least 6 days before the game. More time would be needed if they plan to practice as they do in Dallas.
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