Coldest Spot On Planet Earth

Slashdot lets us know that we finally know where’s the most freezing place on Earth:

What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night. Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed with data from remote sensing satellites including the new Landsat 8, a joint project of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., joined a team of researchers reporting the findings Monday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Researchers analyzed 32 years’ worth of data from several satellite instruments. They found temperatures plummeted to record lows dozens of times in clusters of pockets near a high ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, two summits on the ice sheet known as the East Antarctic Plateau. The new record of minus 93.2 C was set Aug. 10, 2010.

The linked article from NASA has a nice visualization in the form of the YouTube video:

One thing that is not so obvious about this research is the problem with tools – most thermometers that we are using elsewhere will simply stop working at these temperatures.

And just in case you were wondering how cold is it in space, here is a very nice explanation:



In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees. Kiribati is expected to be the first country in which all land territory disappears due to global climate change. In June 2008, the Kiribati president Anote Tong said that the country has reached “the point of no return”; he added: “To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that.”

As sea levels continue to rise, the government of Kiribati is negotiating a deal with Fiji to evacuate the entire population to areas of Fiji that the Kiribati government would buy. The area of Fiji proposed for resettlement is the second largest Fijian island of Vanua Levu. The mass migration is expected to include younger, skilled workers first, and then the rest of the population would follow over a period of years.


Snow in Limassol

Yesterday I observed a really weird thing – snow in Limassol.  The temperature dropped down to +2 degrees Celsius, it was very windy, and it was snowing for at least two hours.  Of course, the ground is too warm for the snow to stay, but other surfaces, like, for example, my car, were covered in snow.  That was really wicked!

In my 12 years in Limassol, I’ve seen snow like only two or three times.  Previous experiences weren’t even close to yesterday’s.  They seemed more like accidents.  But yesterday … it was snow for real.

The hailing thing


The Global Warming is definitely coming along nicely. Today we had ice cubes falling down from the sky, like we were all in a giant glass of Coca Cola. Hailing. And, while some old timers (ok, ok, not really) can remember that it was hailing down in Limassol, noone I asked could remember ice pieces of this size.

The picture above is of my hand and an ice ball that came down from the skies. One among many others. Not the biggest one. Not the smallest one. But it can give you an idea of what was going on. (Appologies for the terrible quality of the picture – it was taken with my dirty mobile phone in complete darkness.)

P.S.: My boss’s birthday. Maybe it was a sign. Happy birthday, Alex, anyway!