Earth  ID: 11415

The Coldest Place On Earth

What is the coldest place in the world? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau. On a clear winter night, temperatures there can drop to -135.8° Fahrenheit. The coldest spots develop just downhill from the ridge along a 620-mile stretch between two summits. When weather conditions are right, the ridge cools as it radiates heat into space. This creates a layer of super-chilled air above the surface of the snow and ice that collects in clusters of pockets on the ice sheet. Scientists analyzed 32 years’ worth of satellite data, including measurements made by NASA's Earth-observing fleet, and discovered a new record low was reached on August 10, 2010. Watch the video to learn more.

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Story Credits

Lead Visualizer/Animator:
Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC)

Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC)

Video Editor:
Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)

Ted Scambos (NSIDC)

Matthew R. Radcliff (USRA)

Lead Scientists:
Ted Scambos (NSIDC)
James R. Irons (NASA/GSFC)
Terry Haran (University of Colorado)
Garrett Campbell (NSIDC)
Allen Pope (NSIDC)

Lead Writer:
Kate Ramsayer (Telophase)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Cover image courtesy of NSIDC/Atsuhiro Muto

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