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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keeper of the gate when we geting 40
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Next chance for significant widespread snow still in fantastyland.



But some possible isolated heavy snow within 200 hours.

Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 27. eddye:
keep of the gate so wat does it show
normal dec temps 70 75 during the day 60 at night
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Big Cheese round these here parts padna.





whew...though you was gonna say "bubba"
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 671 Comments: 21426
Quoting 28. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cold cold and more cold follow with dry dry and more dry


j/k


lol, You had me scared for a minute there.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 24. FunnelVortex:
Are any of the models showing a significant winter storm scenario for Wisconsin?
cold cold and more cold follow with dry dry and more dry


j/k
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keep of the gate so wat does it show
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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.
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Quoting 20. eddye:
keepr of the gate storm tracker scott do u guys see any cold air for dec 20 for orlando
it way out but here it is

dec 20 12z

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Are any of the models showing a significant winter storm scenario for Wisconsin?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 11:00 AM EST Tuesday 10 December 2013
Condition:Cloudy
Pressure:30.0 inches
Tendency:falling
Visibility:15 miles
Temperature:18.7°F
Dewpoint:8.1°F
Humidity:63%
Wind:WNW 13 mph
Wind Chill: 5
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Quoting 12. air360:
why does this blog always end up back on global warming? Why can't we just discuss current and upcoming weather.....


Because the author of this here entry is the Big Cheese round these here parts padna.

AGW is the single most threat to our Long term viability as a species.


Try the fruit cake, but avoid the cranberries though.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127566
Thanks Dr M. Feeling very Antarctic here too. :( Getting a little ridiculous! Had to buy socks! I'm considering a move to Florida. I'm just not fit for human company right now...mumbles,grumbles, crawls back into the covers until spring... ;)

Temp
36.5°F
12mph
Hi: 38°F
Lo: 35°F
Rain: 0.00"
Gust: NNW 18
Wind Chill: 28°F
Humidity: 85%
Sunrise: 7:01 AM
Sunset: 5:16 PM
Dew Point: 33°F
Avg Wind: 8 NNE
Pressure: 30.40"
Rain/Month: 0.09"

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keepr of the gate storm tracker scott do u guys see any cold air for dec 20 for orlando
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Quoting 17. CybrTeddy:


We'll it is Dr. Masters' blog, so he talks about what he wants I'd imagine. In active hurricane seasons, you'll probably note the vast majority of his topics are related to tropical cyclones as that's our focus on here during the summer.

Actually, this isn't even really about global warming, it's about a record low temperature.
and beside's its early winter I doubt there is anything out there of interest right off hand

except maybe the little bit of snow over the east

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Quoting 12. air360:
why does this blog always end up back on global warming? Why can't we just discuss current and upcoming weather.....
the blog balances itself with both
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Quoting 12. air360:
why does this blog always end up back on global warming? Why can't we just discuss current and upcoming weather.....


We'll it is Dr. Masters' blog, so he talks about what he wants I'd imagine. In active hurricane seasons, you'll probably note the vast majority of his topics are related to tropical cyclones as that's our focus on here during the summer.

Actually, this isn't even really about global warming, it's about a record low temperature. The last few blog posts have also been about current weather stories, such as snowstorms in the US, severe storms in Europe, etc.
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why does this blog always end up back on global warming? Why can't we just discuss current and upcoming weather.



i'd like nothing better but i'm afraid it will never be so
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 671 Comments: 21426
arent CFC gases in refrigerators harmful to humans and we want to build giant refrigerators to stop global warming..are we saving the planet only and killing off the human race?



there are freezers that are free of cfc gas and insulation
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 671 Comments: 21426
It's too early for a cold snap like this.


Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Winter Storm Warning

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
912 AM EST TUE DEC 10 2013

MDZ003>007-009-010-VAZ027>031-040-042-501-WVZ052- 053-101900-
/O.CON.KLWX.WS.W.0011.000000T0000Z-131210T1900Z/
WASHINGTON-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-HARFORD-
MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SHENANDOAH-FREDERICK VA-PAGE-WARREN-CLARKE-
RAPPAHANNOCK-LOUDOUN-NORTHERN FAUQUIER-BERKELEY-JEFFERSON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HAGERSTOWN...FREDERICK...WESTMINSTER...
GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...WINCHESTER...FRONT ROYAL...WASHINGTON...
LEESBURG...WARRENTON...MARTINSBURG...CHARLES TOWN
912 AM EST TUE DEC 10 2013

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM EST THIS
AFTERNOON...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...3 TO 6 INCHES.

* TIMING...SNOW WILL END BY EARLY AFTERNOON.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 30S.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST 5 TO 10 MPH.

* IMPACTS...HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED FROM SNOW.
ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL IMPACT THE MORNING RUSH TUESDAY. ROADS
WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW WILL MAKE
TRAVEL HAZARDOUS.

&&

$$
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why does this blog always end up back on global warming? Why can't we just discuss current and upcoming weather.....
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New Orleans mourns the passing of a Local Broadcast Icon, Frank Davis.

Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

Frank Davis, the iconic New Orleans broadcaster and writer whose cooking, fishing and “Naturally N’Awlins” feature reports for Channel 4 made him a local favorite for more than three decades, died Monday night. He was 71.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127566
Thanks Dr. Question in case you are able to point us to any papers or presentations from the conference on this issue.

Most of the climate change/global warming/recent jet stream kinks research we hear about (and certainly on Your blog) seems to be focused on the Northern Hemisphere/Arctic and the effects in term of heat and cold waves (extremes) on North America/Northern Europe/Asia.

What is the science/research telling us about recent climate trends and changes in Antarctica due to potential global warming and the "southern" Antarctic jet in the terms of the Southern Hemisphere?

Don't have a clue................Thanks.
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GFS 12Z RUN HR 180 GLOBAL SFC TEMPS

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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.
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We may need a xtra dog and blankie


i'll give you my blankie if i can stay where it's nice and warm inside
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 671 Comments: 21426
thanks Dr. Masters..

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,

arent CFC gases in refrigerators harmful to humans and we want to build giant refrigerators to stop global warming..are we saving the planet only and killing off the human race?
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LOL..For wintert i have to break out the long pants and full tee shirts lol..10 months of shorts Maybe 2 months with breaks inbetween long pants...man i LOVE florida


i'd wear shorts 24/7 if not for the significant other's feeling that i should at least obey office policy when it's below 60
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 671 Comments: 21426
Thank you Dr. Masters...I have experienced -67 degrees F. It was absolutely miserable. I can't imagine twice as cold.
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good new read for lunch

thanks doc
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We may need a xtra dog and blankie
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127566
Thanks for the new entry Dr. Masters!

I'm not a big fan of the reporting of this 'record'. Needs proper measurement by a thermometer at 2 meters of altitude. I'd like to see thermometers set there to take direct measurements.
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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.