Scientists in the year 2013, announced recording the lowest temperature on the Earth’s surface. Multiple satellite measurements recorded the lowest temperature of -93 degrees. Such low temperatures were observed in different parts of East Antarctica Plateau. However, a new research study contradicts the 2013 findings. It highlights that the temperatures can drop even further.
This research work marks its presence in the Geophysical Research Letters. The current study involves a research team from National Snow and Ice Data Center under the University of Colorado in Boulder. The research team analyzed new data retrieved from several satellites of NASA and NOAA. NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Here, the satellite temperature data from NASA undergoes a careful calibration using the ground weather stations. NASA worked on its data calibrations in the year 2016. The data re-assessment puts East Antarctica Plateau’s coldest temperature down to -98 degrees.
Antarctica has been positioned in such a way that it receives a minimal amount of direct sunlight. It is about fourteen thousand feet above the level of the sea. The higher the altitude, lower will be the atmospheric pressure. The same altitude-pressure relation exists in Antarctica. When you climb higher and higher, the atmospheric pressure goes on decreasing further. As a result, the thermal energy diffuses to a greater extent. Hence, you feel colder at the highest altitude. Also, the ice there at Antarctica has a higher albedo or reflectivity. This higher reflectivity bounces all the incoming solar radiations back into space. This reflection makes Antarctica colder than what it would have been.
The colder nature of Antarctica also highlights the presence of lower melting and evaporation points. As a result of the lower melting and evaporation points, Antarctica does not have more clouds hovering over it. Also, the atmosphere at Antarctica lacks the presence of insulation layer.