Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Coldest Temp ever recorded on Antarctica  (Read 703 times)

Offline GSF

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 3924
  • Gender: Male
Coldest Temp ever recorded on Antarctica
« on: December 10, 2013, 09:59:58 PM »
USA Today story. (Notice right off the bat - this has little to do with global warming, what a shameful bunch of folks. Anyway the article is interesting)

A reading of 135.8 degrees below zero was measured in Antarctica, using remote sensing from satellites.


(Photo: National Snow and Ice Data Center)

Story Highlights
It's so cold that scientists say it hurts to breathe
USA's all-time low temperature was 80 degrees below zero in Alaska
This has little to do with global warming because it is one spot in one place


There's cold, and then there's Antarctica cold. ... How does a frosty reading of 135.8 degrees below zero sound?

Based on remote satellite measurements, scientists recently recorded that temperature at a desolate ice plateau in East Antarctica. It was the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth, though it may not get that recognition in the official record book.

A NASA satellite measured that temperature in August 2010; on July 31 of this year, another bone-chilling temperature of -135.3 degrees was recorded.

"I've never been in conditions that cold, and I hope I never am," said ice scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "I am told that every breath is painful, and you have to be extremely careful not to freeze part of your throat or lungs when inhaling."

The -135.8-degree reading is "50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota," he said.

"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 on Monday, where he announced the data.

Winter in Antarctica occurs, as it does throughout the Southern Hemisphere, in the months of June, July and August, when the continent is in total darkness.

The official record, as measured by a thermometer, remains -128.6 degrees, set in Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the official keepers of world weather records, recognizes only readings measured by thermometers on location, not remotely by satellite.

"Vostok is still the world's coldest recorded location," said Randy Cerveny, an Arizona State University professor of geography and the "rapporteur for climate extremes" at the WMO, via e-mail. "They are using remote sensing, not standard weather stations, so we at the World Meteorological Organization will not recognize that."

Cerveny noted that there is no way to determine the elevation of the remote-sensed value. Official temperature measurements must be made of the air about 7 feet above the ground, to prevent the ground temperature from impacting the air temperature.

Vostok is a Russian research station about 600 miles from the South Pole, where the highest temperature ever recorded was 4 degrees on a summer afternoon.

As for the USA's coldest mark on record, it's -80 degrees, set in Prospect Creek, Alaska, on Jan. 23, 1971, according to Christopher Burt, weather historian for the Weather Underground. Excluding Alaska, the lowest temperature was the -70-degree temperature recorded in Rogers Pass, Mont., in January 1954.

Regardless of whether or not the Antarctica mark is an "official" record, it's still unimaginably cold: "Thank God, I don't know how exactly it feels," Scambos said. He said scientists do routinely make naked 100-degree-below-zero dashes outside at the South Pole, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.

Scambos said that in East Antarctica, the air is dry, the ground chilly and the skies cloudless. Cold air swoops down off a dome and gets trapped in a chilly lower spot, "hugging the surface and sliding around."

The Antarctica measurements were made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on board NASA's Aqua satellite and by Landsat 8, a satellite launched early this year by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The record for cold has little to do with global warming, because it is one spot in one place, said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA's former chief scientist.

Both Abdalati, who wasn't part of the measurement team, and Scambos said this is probably an unusual random reading in a place that hasn't been measured much and could have been colder or hotter in the past.

"It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven't been able to observe," Abdalati said.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline hjon71

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1067
  • Gender: Male
Re: Coldest Temp ever recorded on Antarctica
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 03:47:19 PM »
Snowcreme anyone? :-P
Quite difficult matters can be explained even to a slow-witted man, if only he has not already adopted a wrong opinion about them; but the simplest things cannot be made clear even to a very intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, and knows indubitably, the truth of the matter under consideration. -Leo Tolstoy

Offline Vance G

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1156
Re: Coldest Temp ever recorded on Antarctica
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 08:53:06 PM »
there is the most ice in recorded history in Antartica and The northern hemispheric Ice pack has gained huge square mileage in the last two years.  The screw is turning.  Wonder how minimum this maunder like minimum is going to be?

Offline BlueBee

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4587
  • Gender: Male
Re: Coldest Temp ever recorded on Antarctica
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 10:17:09 PM »
Brrrrr…….that’s cold! 

I had a losing position in natural gas a couple winters ago.  Everybody kept looking for some excuse (ANYTHING!) to keep the price per MBTU from dropping off the scale.  This was during that winter, without a winter (2010?).  Nothing could stabilize the price and it just kept sinking and sinking.  I remember reading a story at that time about the very unusual lack of sunspots and how it actually had some people pretty worried.  The Sun was off schedule.  Well, it didn’t do diddly squat to support the price of Nat gas at the time.  Maybe I should have taken a 2 year thermal time constants into account?

It sounds like the Sun is now back to a more normal active sun spot phase.  Maybe we’ll be cooking in 2015?