What is the coldest place in the world? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6° Fahrenheit (minus 92° Celsius) on a clear winter night – colder than the previous recorded low temperature.
Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed with data from remote sensing satellites including the MODIS sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite, and the TIRS sensor on Landsat 8, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The researchers analyzed 32 years of data from several satellite instruments that have mapped Antarctica's surface temperature. Near a high ridge that runs from Dome Arugs to Dome Fuji, the scientists found clusters of pockets that have plummeted to record low temperatures dozens of times. The lowest temperature the satellites detected – minus 136° F (minus 93.2° C), on Aug. 10, 2010.
The new record is several degrees colder than the previous low of minus 128.6° F (minus 89.2° C), set in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica. The coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth is northeastern Siberia, where temperatures dropped to a bone-chilling 90 degrees below zero F (minus 67.8° C) in the towns of Verkhoyansk (in 1892) and Oimekon (in 1933).
The coldest temperatures in the world are found on the East Antarctic Plateau. This image shows a map of the Land Surface Temperature as measured bythe MODIS sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite, with the clear-sky scenes from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite used in the study marked in purple.
The coldest place on earth is in the East Antarctic Plateau, but not at the highest peak. Rather, the coldest spots develop just donwhill from a ridge that runs from Dome A to Dome Fuji. Data from NASA-USGS Landsat 8 satellite, and NASA's MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite.
separation of the LDCM satellite from the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas-V rocket. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission launched into space on February 11, 2013, from Vandenberg Air Force Base and is a joint program managed by NASA and the USGS.
Animation of the timeline of the Landsat program, from Landsat 1, which launched in 1972, through Landsat 9, currently being built. The hashed lines for Landsats 7-9 indicate the uncertain lifespan of the satellites. Landsat 6 failed to reach orbit on launch.
Please give credit for this item to: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center except for the items listed under Ted Scambos, which are credited to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center based on data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
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GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 126.96.36.199.0