Brrrr! -135.8°F Measured at Earth's New Coldest Spot

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:23 PM GMT on December 10, 2013

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I’m in San Francisco this week for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest climate science conference. Over five thousand of the world’s top climate scientists are here, giving a staggering 10,000 talks and poster presentations. It’s total information overload, and I will only be able to offer this week but a small sampling of the incredible amount of science being presented here.

What is the coldest place in the world? It is a high ridge above 13,000 feet in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92.2 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night, announced polar scientist Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, at a Monday press conference at the AGU conference. The official world cold record of minus 128.6 F (minus 89.2 C), set in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica will remain intact, though, since official records have to be measured by ground-based instruments. How cold is -135.8°F? That’s so cold that it would hurt to breathe, said Dr. Scambos in an AP interview. That’s also well below the -109°F temperature that dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) begins to sublimate into gaseous carbon dioxide. But don’t get your hopes up that we can use the newly-found record cold spot to take CO2 out of the air and solve global warming—you need a temperature of -220°F (-140°C) to freeze CO2 out the air into dry ice “snow” at the concentrations that CO2 exists at in our atmosphere (about 398 ppm.) Still, it is an intriguing concept to build giant refrigerators in Antarctica to do just that—something that has been proposed by Purdue climate scientist Ernest Agee, in a research paper titled, CO2 Snow Deposition in Antarctica to Curtail Anthropogenic Global Warming, published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology .


Figure 1. With remote-sensing satellites, scientists have found the coldest places on Earth, just off a ridge in the East Antarctic Plateau. The coldest of the cold temperatures dropped to minus 135.8 F (minus 93.2 C)--several degrees colder than the previous record. Image Credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Video 1. The coldest place on earth. Data from NASA-USGS Landsat 8 satellite, and NASA's MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite. Image Credit:  NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


Figure 2. In this spectacular photo from Antarctica taken by a NASA scientist on November 24, 2013, we see a lenticular cloud over a pressure ridge in the Antarctic sea ice. Lenticular clouds are a type of wave cloud. They usually form when a layer of air near the surface encounters a topographic barrier, gets pushed upward, and flows over it as a series of atmospheric gravity waves. Lenticular clouds form at the crest of the waves, where the air is coolest and water vapor is most likely to condense into cloud droplets. The bulging sea ice in the foreground is a pressure ridge, which formed when separate ice floes collided and piled up on each other. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total)--will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access. You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.
 
Amusing story: Metallica Has Officially Rocked on Every Continent Following Antarctica Gig on Sunday

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 81. sar2401:

Southwest Mexico maybe. It's 49 in Phoenix, 36 in Vegas, and 48 here in SE Alabama. South Florida looks like the only place to go to get warm today. :-)
I was referencing BFOTR post regarding Friday being warm
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting 66. Barefootontherocks:
Trees at the North Pole?... well, as long as we're fantasizing...

Santa moved to North Pole, Alaska years ago. And folks in Alaska used to raise reindeer for the horns they harvest every year and sell to those cultures who believe these horn have a certain medicinal value. Maybe still do. No harm done to the reindeer, PETA.

Gonna get a little warm-up to the mid 30s in central OK today - hopefully. Highways are pretty good but need warmth to melt ice and snow off the secondary roads. Temps by Friday likely in the 50s.
Barefoot... I lived in North Pole Alaska for 2 years.... No joke.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


near 60 in the states sw



Southwest Mexico maybe. It's 49 in Phoenix, 36 in Vegas, and 48 here in SE Alabama. South Florida looks like the only place to go to get warm today. :-)
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Quoting 62. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and then what about all that coal we know he use's a ton of it on the naughty list
Speaking of methane...Blazing Saddles was on last weekend... So funny , but oh so crude
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Relief is on the way, currently 52.9F (10:16PDT)
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Quoting 8. CybrTeddy:
But don’t get your hopes up that we can use the newly-found record cold spot to take CO2 out of the air and solve global warming—you need a temperature of -220°F (-140°C) to freeze CO2 out the air into dry ice “snow” at the concentrations that CO2 exists at in our atmosphere (about 398 ppm.)

Or basically, you'll have to travel to the moons of Jupiter to achieve an average temperature about that.


Actually, you would only have to travel to our moon, which we've done many times in the past! I believe the moon's south pole is one of the coldest places in the solar system.
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Quoting help4u:
Global sea ice at third highest all time level! Great news!God bless everyone!

Do you have a link for that?
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
Snowfall accumulations, Virgina - updated hourly -
They just posted the 18z map and it looks the same.

What is the legend used in that graphic? It's kind of useless without a legend.
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Global sea ice at third highest all time level! Great news!God bless everyone!
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Quoting 66. Barefootontherocks:
Trees at the North Pole?... well, as long as we're fantasizing...

Santa moved to North Pole, Alaska years ago. And folks in Alaska used to raise reindeer for the horns they harvest every year and sell to those cultures who believe these horn have a certain medicinal value. Maybe still do. No harm done to the reindeer, PETA.

Gonna get a little warm-up to the mid 30s in central OK today - hopefully. Highways are pretty good but need warmth to melt ice and snow off the secondary roads. Temps by Friday likely in the 50s.


um yeah..we have proof..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14446
Quoting 70. Barefootontherocks:
Meteorological winter begins Dec 1.
:)


Winter begins when the weather says it does.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 66. Barefootontherocks:
Trees at the North Pole?... well, as long as we're fantasizing...

Santa moved to North Pole, Alaska years ago. And folks in Alaska used to raise reindeer for the horns they harvest every year and sell to those cultures who believe these horn have a certain medicinal value. Maybe still do. No harm done to the reindeer, PETA.

Gonna get a little warm-up to the mid 30s in central OK today - hopefully. Highways are pretty good but need warmth to melt ice and snow off the secondary roads. Temps by Friday likely in the 50s.


near 60 in the states sw


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Meteorological winter begins Dec 1.
:)
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I knew a satellite will find a colder spot than recorded, so it didn't surprise me when I heard about it. It's a shame it's not recorded...
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Around 5" at my house and that radioactive thing Luisport is now over. It was just soil testing things and they were shipped to the wrong spot.
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Additonal Snow Forecast - Washington D.C. area
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6079
Trees at the North Pole?... well, as long as we're fantasizing...

Santa moved to North Pole, Alaska years ago. And folks in Alaska used to raise reindeer for the horns they harvest every year and sell to those cultures who believe these horn have a certain medicinal value. Maybe still do. No harm done to the reindeer, PETA.

Gonna get a little warm-up to the mid 30s in central OK today - hopefully. Highways are pretty good but need warmth to melt ice and snow off the secondary roads. Temps by Friday likely in the 50s.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Snowfall accumulations, Virgina - updated hourly -
They just posted the 18z map and it looks the same.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6079
Quoting 56. Luisport:
NBC Bay Area ‏@nbcbayarea 17 min
DEVELOPING: Lafayette PD say "radioactive package dropped at the corner of Brown Av at Mt Diablo. Detours in place. Stay away from the area"



Like the Secret Service and other Homeland Security Agencies (FBI, etc.), some local police also carry hand-held gieger counters and other tools to scan packages or other suspect items for "radiation". Assuming it is not a bomb of some sort, it could be radio-active medical waste related to chemo and other types of radioactive treatments or similar source that they are detecting.

Next stop is the robotic ex-ray to see if they can "peer" into the package.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting 51. DFWdad:


Your forgetting the Reindeer! They haul quite a bit you know. The methane is a problem, but you can burn the scat can't you? That way, you can avoid the oil companies that have afforded the West the current standard of living they enjoy, and not overwork the elves causing them to join a labor union.
and then what about all that coal we know he use's a ton of it on the naughty list
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
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Quoting 58. Thunderfan:


People
Eating
Tasty
Animals


People Euthanizing Thousands of Animals is better because that is what PETA actually does...
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


People
Euthanizing
Thousands of
Animals


People
Eating
Tasty
Animals
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Doc..Those pictures of Antarctica are very cool...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20501
NBC Bay Area ‏@nbcbayarea 17 min
DEVELOPING: Lafayette PD say "radioactive package dropped at the corner of Brown Av at Mt Diablo. Detours in place. Stay away from the area"

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what a bust on snow totals in the mid atlantic. most areas around 2 inches. better luck next time.
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More than last year, but not by much.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6079
Seasons Greetings from Portlight



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Quoting 44. ncstorm:


Dear Santa,

That's a shame, so sorry to hear that. I hope you had flood insurance. Did you use a moving truck that burns harmful fuel or did the elves physically walked with all the materials of Santa Workshop to Barrow?

Signed


I'm not 100% sure, but I believe there's more Artic ice this year compared to last year.
I read it's still the 6th or 8th lowest in the last 35 years though.

I'll have to see if I can find the source. I just remember reading this the other day.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6079
Quoting 44. ncstorm:


Dear Santa,

That's a shame, so sorry to hear that. I hope you had flood insurance. Did you use a moving truck that burns harmful fuel or did the elves physically walked with all the materials of Santa Workshop to Barrow?

Signed


Your forgetting the Reindeer! They haul quite a bit you know. The methane is a problem, but you can burn the scat can't you? That way, you can avoid the oil companies that have afforded the West the current standard of living they enjoy, and not overwork the elves causing them to join a labor union.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 47. ncstorm:


Dear Santa,

Watch out for PETA.

Signed..


People
Euthanizing
Thousands of
Animals
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
49. jpsb
Quoting 42. FunnelVortex:


Dear NCStorm,

I had to move to Barrow because all the ice at the North Pole melted during the summer. Theres nothing left of my old village.

Sincerely, Santa Claus.

A still image, taken from an animation that depicts Arctic sea ice coverage on August 15, 2013.
Credit: NASA Goddard



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Conference? I am thinking it is 30° warmer there might have something to do with it, but yes that too.
Thanks for the chilling tale and the concert.
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Quoting 46. FunnelVortex:


NCStorm,

Most of my reindeer did the heavy lifting.

-Santa


Dear Santa,

Watch out for PETA.

Signed..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14446
Quoting 44. ncstorm:


Dear Santa,

That's a shame, so sorry to hear that. I hope you had flood insurance. Did you use a moving truck that burns harmful fuel or did the elves physically walked with all the materials of Santa Workshop to Barrow?

Signed


NCStorm,

Most of my reindeer did the heavy lifting.

-Santa
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
45. jpsb
Quoting 39. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


and winter don't start for 11 days its just late fall right now as a matter of fact the second last week of fall

Yes, we've had a very cold nov-dec here in S.E. Texas, we usually do not see winter conditions like this until late dec. early jan.

I also recall reading mid Nov about ski resorts in North America and Europe opening 2 weeks early due to early cold and snow. this winter of 2013 is shaping up to be a brutal one.
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Quoting 42. FunnelVortex:


Dear NCStorm,

I had to move to Barrow because all the ice at the North Pole melted during the summer. Theres nothing left of my old village.

Sincerely, Santa Claus.


Dear Santa,

That's a shame, so sorry to hear that. I hope you had flood insurance. Did you use a moving truck that burns harmful fuel or did the elves physically walked with all the materials of Santa Workshop to Barrow?

Signed
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14446
Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 12:00 PM EST Tuesday 10 December 2013
Condition:Cloudy
Pressure:30.0 inches
Tendency:falling
Visibility:15 miles
Temperature:18.5°F
Dewpoint:7.2°F
Humidity:61%
Wind:WNW 19 mph
Wind Chill: 3
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting 40. ncstorm:
An AGW letter to Santa..

Dear Santa,

I know you are quite busy in the North Pole in getting toys ready for the kiddies. I just wanted to ask are you cutting down trees to heat your house or using the big oil corporation heat to keep warm up there..better yet..do you need heat as I heard the ice was melting up your way..anyway..remember to use only vegetable oil for fuel when flying across the world for your sled so that you wont pollute the atmosphere and cause jinks to the jet stream..

Signed..

P.S. I guess you are wondering why I sent this to your email address even though I know computers are harmful to the environment but I figure it was a lesser enemy in having a plane delivered it to you.

Merry Christmas!!



Dear NCStorm,

I had to move to Barrow because all the ice at the North Pole melted during the summer. Theres nothing left of my old village.

Sincerely, Santa Claus.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
thats why i want 2 move 2 georgia our nc
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
An AGW letter to Santa..

Dear Santa,

I know you are quite busy in the North Pole in getting toys ready for the kiddies. I just wanted to ask are you cutting down trees to heat your house or using the big oil corporation heat to keep warm up there..better yet..do you need heat as I heard the ice was melting up your way..anyway..remember to use only vegetable oil for fuel when flying across the world for your sled so that you wont pollute the atmosphere and cause jinks to the jet stream..

Signed..

P.S. I guess you are wondering why I sent this to your email address even though I know computers are harmful to the environment but I figure it was a lesser enemy in having a plane delivered it to you.

Merry Christmas!!

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14446
Quoting 38. jpsb:


Dec 6, 2013
Snow falling. In Australia. In summer.

Dec 10, 2013
CHICAGO (CBS) %u2013 Temperatures dipped below zero overnight, the earliest it has been that cold in Chicago in 18 years.

Dec 9, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - The record-setting cold temperatures continues to grip Oregon, freezing and bursting pipes, keeping cars from starting and forcing administrators to announce closures on Sunday.

Dec 12, 2013
Record cold torments US
OKLAHOMA, Dec 9: A deadly winter storm that drove parts of the United States into a deep freeze over the weekend kept a tight grip on the nation on Monday, as bitter temperatures, snow and ice spread across the East Coast, snarling traffic and knocking out power to thousands.


and winter don't start for 11 days its just late fall right now as a matter of fact the second last week of fall
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
38. jpsb
Quoting 28. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cold cold and more cold follow with dry dry and more dry


j/k


Dec 6, 2013
Snow falling. In Australia. In summer.

Dec 10, 2013
CHICAGO (CBS) – Temperatures dipped below zero overnight, the earliest it has been that cold in Chicago in 18 years.

Dec 9, 2013
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - The record-setting cold temperatures continues to grip Oregon, freezing and bursting pipes, keeping cars from starting and forcing administrators to announce closures on Sunday.

Dec 12, 2013
Record cold torments US
OKLAHOMA, Dec 9: A deadly winter storm that drove parts of the United States into a deep freeze over the weekend kept a tight grip on the nation on Monday, as bitter temperatures, snow and ice spread across the East Coast, snarling traffic and knocking out power to thousands.
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Quoting 26. HurriHistory:
We are in the low to mid 80s down here in South Florida everyday while the rest of the Nation is Freezing their ass's off. So far we've been having a very mild to warm Winter here in the Sun and Fun Capital of the World with no cold Weather in site.


NWS is forecasting 49F degrees in my area on the 12th, so we'll see if that's actually true.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23568
maybe in January



to be precise the 16th
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 670 Comments: 21391
Quoting 33. eddye:
keeper of the gate when we geting 40
maybe in January

you do know you live in fla right
and fla don't really get cold in winter right
ok maybe every once in a while in like mid Jan or feb but even then its not common
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Roads are nasty still, kids have another "snow day" and I enjoyed reading about the super cool Antarctic Plateau.. though I had to wonder about "That’s so cold that it would hurt to breathe, said Dr. Scambos in an AP interview.." I'd think it might do a little more than just hurt?? This would be a whole new level of Frost Bite on the scale of FROST-POCOLYPSE!

These guys knew cold!


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keeper of the gate when we geting 40
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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