New record low measured by satellite
Ridvan EFE/Shutterstock, adapted by E. Otwell
SAN FRANCISCO — A swath of icy slopes in Antarctica has staked an unofficial claim as the coldest place on Earth.
Frigid pockets of air downhill from the East Antarctic plateau can chill ice surfaces to as low as –93.2°Celsius, reported Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in a press conference at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting on December 9.
“It’s colder than dry ice,” said his NSIDC colleague Garrett Campbell. “If you took your glove off, your hand would freeze off very fast.”
The new low, recorded in 2010, edges out the previous record of –89.2°C, which was set at Antarctica’s Lake Vostok in 1983, several hundred kilometers away.
The new findings have helped scientists pinpoint conditions needed to reach ultracold