Tuesday, 17 December 2013

[PF:172957] Coldest place on Earth

 

Coldest place on Earth discovered on Antarctic mountain where temperatures plummet to below -91C

  • Spot on Antarctic mountain ridge sees temperatures of below -91C
  • Conditions could freeze a human's eyes, nose and lungs within minutes

 

It would make Britain's recent cold weather seem like a heatwave.

Scientists have discovered the coldest place on Earth - where the air temperature plummets to below -91C.

The newly-found spot - situated along an Antarctic mountain ridge - could freeze a human's eyes, nose and lungs within minutes.

Record-breaking: Scientists have discovered the coldest places on Earth along an Antarctic mountain ridge - where the temperature plummets to below a deadly -91C (file picture)

Record-breaking: Scientists have discovered the coldest place on Earth along an Antarctic mountain ridge - where the temperature plummets to below a deadly -91C (file picture)

This is because its temperature is almost 13 degrees below the point at which CO2 transforms from a gas into dry ice (-78.5C).

The record-breaking discovery was made by researchers from America's National Snow and Ice Data Centre, according to The Sunday Times.

They used satellites and other techniques to measure temperatures in Antarctica.

 

 

The -91.2C spot - one of numerous cold places recorded on the mountain ridge - is believed to have been found at heights of more than 12,400ft on a mountain called Dome Fuji.

Astonishingly, it is even chillier than Russia's Vostok research station, where the world's previous coldest air temperature (-89.2C) was recorded during the Antarctic winter of 1983. 

Previous record holder: The spot is even chillier than Russia's Vostok research station, pictured, where the world's previous coldest air temperature (-89.2C) was recorded in 1983

Previous record holder: The spot is even chillier than Russia's Vostok research station, pictured, where the world's previous coldest air temperature (-89.2C) was recorded in 1983

And researchers say there are probably even colder spots - with the satellite only averaging the temperature over a square kilometre.

'It is likely that record cold sites identified by the data have small areas within them that are significantly colder than the grid cell mean,' said a data centre researcher in a published summary of the findings.

He added that the coldest temperatures had been recorded during clear, dry periods - as opposed to on windy or snowy days.

Full details of the scientists' discovery will be revealed at the American Geophycial Union's annual meeting this week.

Earlier this year, the Russian village of Oymyakon was revealed to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world - with the average temperature for January standing at -50C.

Chilly: A woman walks in the Russian village of Oymyakon, which was revealed to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world

Chilly: A woman walks in Oymyakon, Russia, which is the world's coldest permanently inhabited settlement

Known as the 'Pole of Cold', the coldest ever temperature recorded in Oymyakon was -71.2C.

The village, which is home to around 500 people, was, in the 1920s and 1930s, a stopover for reindeer herders who would water their flocks from the thermal spring.

A single shop provides the town's bare necessities - with he locals working as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.





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