Antarctica set record of -135.8 F (-93.2 C)

Dec 09, 2013 by Seth Borenstein
Image: National Science Foundation

Newly analyzed data from East Antarctica say the remote region has set a record for soul-crushing cold.

The record is minus 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 93.2 Celsius).

A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.2 Celsius). Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -135.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-93.0 Celsius).

The old record had been -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 Celsius).

Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced the cold facts at the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday.

"It's more like you'd see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles," Scambos said, from the American Geophysical Union scientific meeting in San Francisco Monday, where he announced the data. "I'm confident that these pockets are the coldest places on Earth."

However, it won't be in the Guinness Book of World Records because these were satellite measured, not from thermometers, Scambos said.

This image shows the location of record low temperature measurements for Antarctica. The red dots show where the record satellite-measured surface temperatures and the earlier record low air temperature occurred. Shades of gray are a compilation of the lowest MODIS-sensor land surface temperature readings made by NASA's Aqua satellite during 2003-2013, with darker grays representing the coldest areas. Landsat 8 thermal images acquired in July and August of 2013 provided more detail on the coldest areas (purple squares). Elevation of the Antarctic surface is shown in green lines, and a blue lines provide an outline of the Antarctic continent, its islands, and the edge of its floating ice sheet. Credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center

"Thank God, I don't know how exactly it feels," Scambos said. But he said scientists do routinely make naked 100 degree below zero Fahrenheit (73 degree below zero Celsius) dashes outside in the South Pole as a stunt, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.

Most of the time researchers need to breathe through a snorkel that brings air into the coat through a sleeve and warms it up "so you don't inhale by accident" the cold air, Scambos said.

Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA's former chief scientist, and Scambos said this is likely an unusual random reading in a place that hasn't been measured much before and could have been colder or hotter in the past and we wouldn't know.

"It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven't been able to observe," Abdalati said.

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User comments : 25

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foolspoo
1 / 5 (7) Dec 09, 2013
Common sethy! Why so lazy?
Scientists say it will hurt to breathe! Whoaaoaoaoaoa
BSD
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 10, 2013
Can you please quote Celcius?

This is supposed to be a science forum.
alfie_null
2 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2013
Be interesting to know the wind chill.
Sinister1811
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2013
-92.9 degrees celcius?! There's no wonder nothing lives there!
Sinister1811
3.5 / 5 (4) Dec 10, 2013
-92.9 degrees celcius?! There's no wonder nothing lives there!


Sorry I meant -94.7 degrees. Wrote the wrong temp, but the edit didn't work.
Humpty
2.2 / 5 (5) Dec 10, 2013
Does your piss freeze before it hits the ground?
Aaron1980
Dec 10, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
ThomasQuinn
4 / 5 (8) Dec 10, 2013
Does your piss freeze before it hits the ground?


It starts to freeze before you realize you need to go in the first place.
javjav
1 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2013
On Earth there are recorded temperatures from -92º to 56º Celsius, that is a 146º difference, and that is only in recent times, and without taking into account hydrotermal vents and active volcanic areas. If extrasolar planes are similar, the "habitable" zones should be much bigger than what they say, as many planets should have their own habitable zone.

As another example, Mars temperature range is even bigger, with a 188º recorded difference ( -153º to 35º ). An the moon recorded range is about 276º, (from -153 to 123º). And some areas of Ceres can go has high as -38º.

Then the important thing for having liquid salty water on surface is the atmosphere type, much more than the distance to the star. Our system has at least 5 bodies that could have liquid water with the appropriated atmosphere: Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Ceres . So the interesting number would be to know the probability to have such kind of atmosphere. Is there a good estimation for this?
DeadCorpse
1 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2013
Nothing more fun than making a dry ice snowman...
BSD
2.7 / 5 (6) Dec 10, 2013
100 degree below zero Fahrenheit (73 degree below zero Celsius) dashes outside in the South Pole as a stunt, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.


That doesn't make sense, does it?

How can it be 100F BELOW ZERO or -100F and 73C BELOW ZERO or-73C, when freezing point in Fahrenheit is 32F (0C)?

For Fahrenheit, shouldn't the expression be 100F below freezing?

Bloody useless imperial shit.

It's about time you started using metric like the rest of us.

antigoracle
2.2 / 5 (13) Dec 10, 2013
I blame global warming.
Cocoa
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 10, 2013
"That doesn't make sense, does it?"

It does make sense BSD. -100 degrees F (or 100 degrees below 0) - is equivalent to -73.33 degrees C. -100 degrees F is 132 degrees F below freezing.

I agree that it is time to put such a crazy scale to rest - along with feet and inches, and lbs and ozs.
runrig
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2013
Does your piss freeze before it hits the ground?


Maybe even before it exits ... ouch!
PPihkala
Dec 10, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
freeiam
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2013
I blame global warming.


That must be so.
I especially like the way it's placed in perspective.
Maybe they can apply that to climate 'science' in general.

The Alchemist
1 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2013
At the risk of sounding non-denominational, I hope both deniers and AGW-ers agree:

There is something very weird about our climate change (macro-weather?-to be non-argumentative) in the last three years, particularly in this year.

We are in a period of solar activity. With the sun providing a huge source of energy, and temperatures being mild, and in the case above, cold (such and extreme spike is a representation of a background effect,) we've got a big swadge of heat-enery to account for, and it must be here on Earth.

What is the heat sink?
Sinister1812
3 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2013
There is something very weird about our climate change


There is some weird stuff happening at the moment. Don't know if anyone here heard about this:
http://www.telegr...ast.html
Maggnus
3.2 / 5 (5) Dec 14, 2013
We are in a period of solar activity.


A period of low solar activity.

http://www.newsci...ies.html
BSD
4 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2013
"That doesn't make sense, does it?"

It does make sense BSD. -100 degrees F (or 100 degrees below 0) - is equivalent to -73.33 degrees C. -100 degrees F is 132 degrees F below freezing.

I agree that it is time to put such a crazy scale to rest - along with feet and inches, and lbs and ozs.


Thank you Cocoa. :)
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2013
@Magnus,
Your link is amazing, it flat contradicts everyone else in the world! Dare I ask if it has anything to say about the Sunrise tomorrow? I'll wager it takes a risky, contrarian stance.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Dec 14, 2013
I agree that it is time to put such a crazy scale to rest - along with feet and inches, and lbs and ozs.

Along with the C scale...as it's based on a number of rather arbitrary points (freezing/evaporation of an arbitrary substance at an arbitrary pressure of an arbitray surrounding gas mix).
Let's at least use Kelvin. The scale is still arbitrary but at least the zero point isn't.
Maggnus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2013
Dare I ask if it has anything to say about the Sunrise tomorrow? I'll wager it takes a risky, contrarian stance.
Everyone else Alchemist?
http://www.activi...are.html
http://news.yahoo...384.html
http://solarscien...le.shtml
http://www.wired....l-quiet/
Who is this everyone of whom you speak?
The Alchemist
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2013
@maggnus
We are in a period of high solar activity: That this period of high activity is lower than other periods of high activity isn't germane to the argument.*

In 2013 the Sun dumped much more heat than in the previous seven years, yet the the world environment has not reflected this change.

http://solarscien...le.shtml

So the question is, where did the heat go?

*But thanks for clarifying.
Maggnus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2013
Alchemist, what the hell are you talking about? You are trying to force the data to fit your theory, instead of re-evaluating your theory based on the data.

Solar activity right now is at the lowest point it has been at for at least a couple of centuries. You're just making it up when you say 2013 saw the sun dump "much more heat" given there is no data that backs up your claim.
The Alchemist
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
No, Maggie, you're talking about a different phenomenon.

The sun peaks and troughs every 10-11 years or so, 2013-14 are a peak.

The minimum you are talking about is about 20% of variation, which in terms of total would be about ~0.1% absolute. Significant, but still not germane. Good topic for astronomy, perhaps, but for AGW, not so much.*

@Forum: With the Sun dumping 20% more energy above its baseline, not total, which would be ~1.0%, than it did in 2010, then there is a whopping amount of heat to account for...

Where did the heat go, locally, as, on Earth? I am not talking anything complicated, I am talking conservation of energy here.
Maggnus
3 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2013
Alchemist, I'm sorry but I don't get what you are driving at (or perhaps more precisely, I think I might get what you're trying to drive at, but your methodology is clumsy). The amount of heat reaching the Earth is not the issue, the amount of heat being trapped in the atmosphere is.
The Alchemist
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
@Maggie,
No that is yet another fascinating subject.

How long does the Earths atmosphere trap heat? How much? Air is less known for trapping heat than land, for example, and the land cycles daily.

Forum: Sorry to repeat, but there is a change in the Earth's environs that does not add up when you consider this year has its primary influencer, the Sun introducing more than average energy, yet immediate effects, including temperature, I hate say, suggest less energy.
Conservation of Energy says there is a heat sink somewhere.
goracle
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013