A photograph of the snow surfaces at Dome C Station, Antarctica. Credit: Stephen Hudson

A new cold record has been reached in Antarctica as NASA measured a temperature of minus 94,7 C (105,8 F). This is a temperature similar to what we measure at the poles on Mars, according to lead researcher Ted Scambos.

The temperature was measured on August 10th, 2010, at an altitude of 3,900 meters above central Antarctica by the NASA Landsat-8 satellite. This is a new satellite, so the temperature may be somewhat revised with further calibration, but there is no doubt that it is indeed a record temperature.

The previous record was measured in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Base in Antarctica when a temperature of 89,2 degrees below zero was recorded.

Ted Scambos at the U.S National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado said to The Guardian “It is more like what you would see on Mars a nice summer day at the poles”.

Scientists have measured the temperature in Antarctica for 30 years and have found that it is at its coldest at high altitudes during the winter months, because of the extremely cold and dry air that radiates the heat back into space.

For comparison, the hottest temperature recorded on Earth, also by satellite sensors, is the Dasht-e Lut salt desert in southeast Iran, where the temperature reached 70.7 C (159,26 F) in 2005.


Press Release: Landsat 8 helps unveil the coldest place on Earth