Minnesota and much of the nation was locked in an Arctic blast over the past few weeks, but there is one spot that is much, much colder – East Antarctica, a suburb of the South Pole, recorded the world record cold checking in at -135.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -93.2 Celsius.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the Christmas song by Frank Loesser, is being considered East Antarctica’s theme song.
Associated Press (AP) reported the new record low, which occurred August of 2010 by NASA satellite, and noted that just a few days earlier, NASA recorded -135.3. Both lows eclipsed the old record of -128.6 degrees.
“Thank God, I don’t know how exactly it feels,” Ice scientist Ted Scambos at the National Snow and Ice Data Center said. But he said scientists do routinely make naked 100 degree below zero dashes outside in the South Pole, so people can survive that temperature for about three minutes.
Three minutes. And we hearty Minnesotans grumble when we have to scurry from the parking lot at the mall to its warm confines.
Keep in mind that Minnesota’s record low is -60 degrees Fahrenheit, set in February 1996 in Embarrass. (North America’s coldest was -81.4, recorded in Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada on Feb. 9, 1934.)
Skeptics of global warming would point to this new record low and smile.
However, “Just because one spot on Earth has set records for cold, that has little to do with global warming because it is one spot in one place,” said Waleed Abdalati, an ice scientist at the University of Colorado and NASA’s former chief scientist, the AP reported.
“It does speak to the range of conditions on this Earth, some of which we haven’t been able to observe,” Abdalati said.
As we went head-long into the winter solstice yesterday, keep in mind that it might be cold in the “frozen tundra,” but it’s balmy compared to East Antarctica.