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Antarctica Hits Record Low of -135.8 F (-94.7 C)
Antarctica hit record low temperatures, but it won’t be in the Guinness Book of World Records — or recognized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This is because the official keepers of world weather records only accept land-based temperature readings, and the record-breaking readings were measured by satellites, not from land-based thermometers.
A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for the coldest temperature as recorded by satellite. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: the temperature -135.3 degrees. The old record, was measured by thermometers on earth, is -128.6 degrees, set in Vostok, Antarctica, in 1983. Regardless of whether or not it’s an official record, it’s still unimaginably cold.
According to USA Today, “They are using remote sensing, not standard weather stations, so the World Meteorological Organization will not recognize that.” As for the USA’s coldest mark on record, its -80 degrees F, set in Alaska in 1971.
Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said that the new record is “50 degrees colder than anything that has ever been seen in Alaska or Siberia or certainly North Dakota. It’s more like you’d see on Mars on a nice summer day in the poles,” Scambos stated.“Vostok is still the world’s coldest recorded location,” said Randy Cerveny, an Arizona State University professor of geography.
“If you want soul-crushing cold, you really have to go overseas,” Scambos said in a phone interview. “It’s just a whole other level of cold because on that cold plateau, conditions are perfect.”
Just because one spot on Earth has set records for cold, that 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 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 would not know.