A new study brings unprecedented information about the coldest temperature in the world. Researchers at Colorado-Boulder University have found that in some Valleys located in the eastern plateau in Antarctica, the minimum temperatures are even lower than it was originally estimated.

For this study, the specialists used only data provided by satellites in the period between 2004-2016. This is because the East Antarctic Plateau, located at an altitude of 3,500 meters, can not be researched with classic meteorological instruments, being extremely isolated and innocent.

The coldest temperature in the world

The coldest temperature in the world was observed in the small valleys formed in the ice on the plateau. Cold air is dense and thus it remains stuck in these small crevices for several days when it is clear and when the wind does not blow. This phenomenon also occurs in other parts of the world at night, when in the valleys it is much colder than in the rest of the region.

In addition, the dry air here adds its contribution to temperatures decrease. The absolute record reached here and observed with NASA’s Aqua (EOS PM-1) satellite was minus 144 degrees Fahrenheit (-98 degrees Celsius), close to the minimum limit of temperatures that may exist on Earth. Lowest temperatures are reached when the sky is clear for several days, and the air is very dry. Extreme temperatures are also recorded during the winter of the North Pole, ie in July and August.

“In this area, we see periods of incredibly dry air, and this allows the heat from the surface of the snow to radiate into space more easily,” said Ted Scambos, the lead author and senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Previous observations made in 2013 in South Pole showed the minimum temperature of minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-93 degrees Celsius). But in the meantime, the scientists revised the data and came to new conclusion regarding the coldest temperature in the world. This new conclusion was published in the American Geophysical Union science magazine.

image source: Ted Scambos

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