There is a new record holder for coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth:
That’s cold. Though just announced, the temperature was actually recorded in August 2010, in the eastern part of Antarctica. The temperature got close to the record again this year at the end of July, when it hit -92.9C.
On Monday, December 9, scientist Ted Scambos announced the new low at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Before this announcement, the previous record low had been -89.2C.
Unfortunately, however, this new coldest temperature won’t be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, because it was measured using NASA satellites instead of a thermometer.
Thankfully, none of us will have to brave this kind of cold any time soon. How do record lows in the United States stack up? The coldest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was in – you guessed it – Alaska. In 1971, temperatures reached -79.8F at Prospect Creek Camp in Alaska. The lowest temperature in the contiguous 48 states was -69.7 in Montana. Predictably, Hawaii is the only U.S. state to never dip below 0F.
Humans can survive briefly in -100F temperatures, Scambos said. He and other Antarctic researchers know from experience, he said, because they run naked outside for a couple minutes in the cold as a stunt (hey, if you were stuck in the Antarctic for that long, you probably would too). But they have to breathe using a snorkel that warms the air, just in case they accidentally inhale the freezing-cold air.
Still, the rest of the solar system laughs at our -94.7C. Scambos said the temperature is one you might find during the warmest days on Mars. The moon hits -153C without even trying. So yes, we have a new record for lowest temperature ever on Earth. Up next? Coldest temperature in the universe.