We Might Have Just Found the Coldest Spot on Earth

Planet Earth is a place with many different environments. It harbors sizzling hot deserts that will suck the life out of any living thing and also bone-chilling cold regions that can freeze anything in an instant. So when we think about the coldest place on earth, only one name comes to mind: Antarctica.

Nearly all of Antarctica is covered with snow and ice year-round.

Antarctica is an uninhabited region that is located in the south of our planet. It is the area of extremely cold temperatures which is the main reason why it is uninhabited by the humans. Only animals that are indigenous to this region can survive here such as penguins, albatross, and seals.

Research has been going on for ages by the scientists to point out the coldest region on Earth. They have managed to narrow it down to Antarctica, but are now searching for the exact location on this icy continent.

In 2013, researchers from NASA claimed to have discovered the coldest spot on earth. They used remote sensing satellites including the Landsat 8 to pinpoint this location. The location was present near the East Antarctic Plateau and the recorded temperature of this region was astonishingly low. The satellite reported the temperature of -133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-92 degrees Celsius).

Antarctica’s only permanent residents are the animals that are specially adapted to the extreme cold.

This temperature significantly beats the previously recorded lowest temperature of -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 degrees Celsius). This previously coldest temperature was recorded through the Russian Vostok research Center in East Antarctica. This temperature was recorded back in 1983 and after 35 years this record is finally broken.

A scientific fact that can rule out the Vostok temperature recording is that it was measured in the air. Measuring the temperature of the air isn’t considered as accurate since it fluctuates differently than the temperature of the surface of the earth. This is why recording the temperature with the help of a satellite is much more accurate because it observes it directly the surface of the Earth and even a few feet below.

Scientists believe that to accurately measure the temperature of the surface from a satellite it is necessary to have clear skies and dry air. Clear skies help in viewing from the satellite and dry air makes sure the temperatures are as low as possible. This is because moisture in the air absorbs heat inside it, which increases the temperature of the area.

Scientists often travel to Antarctica to do research, but the best measurements of temperature come from satellites way up in space.

Ted Scambos is a leading researcher in this study and he revealed that it is evident from the decades of studies that the coldest temperatures on Earth usually occur in the region of Eastern Antarctica. He said that the reason for these extremely low temperatures is the prolonged winter that stays over this region all year long. This winter causes intense radiative cooling of the snow on the surface with the help of the dry atmosphere and clear skies.

The researchers believe that there are even colder regions that are yet to be discovered. But they are absolutely sure that those regions exist on the continent of Antarctica.