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back to article Shivering boffins nail Earth's coldest spot

US researchers have announced they've identified the coldest place on Earth recorded to date - a spot in Antarctica which in August 2010 hit a decidedly chilly -93.2°C Having trawled 32 years worth of data from various satellites, a team led by Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center presented its findings to the …

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Coat

The question is,

Would it be cold enough to get a northern to put his coat on?

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: The question is,

Nope, it's crop-sleeved t-shirts all the way.

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CO2

So... if I was in an enclosed box down there, I could breath the air continuously for much longer, what with the accumulating CO2 freezing into a solid (and falling on the ground I assume).

Something to bear in mind... should you ever be kidnapped and placed in an air tight box there.

just my handy tip for the day.

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Devil

Re: CO2

Thanks for the tip, now any tips on how to prevent hypothermia?

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Stop

Re: CO2

@Stu, you need to read up on partial pressure. The partial pressure of CO2 that will kill you is not high enough for CO2 to freeze at that temperature. Here's CO2's phase diagram:-

http://www.scribd.com/doc/181419658/co2-phase-diagram-pdf

10% CO2 (100,000 ppm) will kill you according to this:-

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-comfort-level-d_1024.html

So, from the phase diagram, at 10% concentration i.e. 0.1 bar, CO2 is a gas at -100C. What's more, you're at over 3000m above sea level, so the partial pressure would be even less than 0.1 bar.

You're gonna die. Sorry!

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Re: CO2

"@Stu, you need to read up on partial pressure. The partial pressure of CO2 that will kill you is not high enough for CO2 to freeze at that temperature. Here's CO2's phase diagram:-

"

damn! another evil plan to kill james bond in a long and drawn out pointless way foiled.

then again, as Stewart Lee said 'you can prove anything with Facts'

:-)

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Happy

Re: CO2

Ha! I remember the line from his taxi driver! I wonder if they're the same facts that were sent here by God to test us, like Richard Dawkins, and fossils? Coincidentally, I just got my tickets for the marathon gig at the Royal Festival Hall. I'm hoping for a four hour 'slimepit of bitterness'.

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Silver badge

Re: CO2

More than that, it's way below the melting point of chlorine, and only about 10C about the freezing point.

Always useful to know, should you happen to be standing in a chlorine fog in the coldest place on Earth.

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Coat

Pfff. Slightly chilly at best.

My wife can made our living room much colder than that with a single stare if (ok, when) I forget an anniversary. Then I get to stay there and sleep on the sofa. Brrrrr. Parky.

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Re: Pfff. Slightly chilly at best.

Stop lying - you're on The Reg, you don't have a wife. Or partner. Or friends.

The only comfort you (we) have is the glowing warm lights of electronic gadgetry, and even that's being taken away with the use of cold LEDs. :(

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Re: Pfff. Slightly chilly at best.

"My wife can made our living room much colder than that with a single stare if (ok, when) I forget an anniversary. Then I get to stay there and sleep on the sofa. Brrrrr. Parky"

- And then you discover there's another kind of "air tight box".

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Linux

Re: Pfff. Slightly chilly at best.

Yeah, but with the wind chill it'll feel more like -95°C

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Anonymous Coward

"The upper boundary of the mesosphere is the mesopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth with temperatures below 130 K (−226 °F; −143 °C)."

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Splitting hairs...

but if the Mesosphere in in the atmosphere how can it be the coldest place ON Earth? Just asking.

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Anonymous Coward

"The upper boundary of the menosphere is the menopause, which can be the coldest naturally occurring place on Earth with temperatures below a death stare"

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@AC 16:29

I always thought the menopause caused HOT flushes. The icy stare only results from mentioning the tabboo subject.

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Silver badge

So what you're saying is...

If I'm going to Antarctica, I ought to pack a sweater?

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Re: So what you're saying is...

>If I'm going to Antarctica, I ought to pack a sweater?

If you are some sort of southern jessy then yes

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Re:- decidedly chilly -93.2°C

Fairly sure I had an ex who could be that cold when the mood came upon them.

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Boffin

Of course...

... if this was QI, klaxons would be going off and lights would be flashing, since the coldest place on Earth is actually in laboratories where scientists have reached temperatures only just above absolute zero (or possibly even below if you believe some claims!)

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Re: Of course...

No I don't believe those claims. You can't get colder than absolute zero and you can't go faster than c. And that's that.

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Flame

Re: Of course...@Martin Budden

Weeeellll, you can get below 0K, but you are correct that you can't get colder. Negative temperatures Kelvin tend to be Hot. I believe the pumping "chamber' of a laser is one example of a negative temperature Kelvin.

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C02 snow

I'd like to see it snowing C02, although maybe the atmospheric conc. is a little low?

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Re: C02 snow

Yup, too low, sorry.

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Alien

Optional

Is it just me, or does the image in the article look like a scan of an alien in someone's womb?

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Holmes

Re: Optional

I had it as an angry elephant.

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Anonymous Coward

It's melting, I tell you

This can't be true. Everyone knows that Antarctic is warming dangerously and the ice is melting and there was a picture on the cover of Nature that proves it...

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It's so cold...

I guess they don't have any brass monkeys down there!

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Silver badge
Terminator

Feed the hounds

The next time my daughter moans about venturing outside to feed the mutts

Hang on - you mean you don't have a Pi/Arduino controlled automated creation for such tasks? What is the SPB coming to these days when you have to rely on pipe-wielding offspring for such duties?

My faith has been soundly shaken - I must partake of some suitable liquid repair-fluid forthwith! To the pub...

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Not 100% Accurate

At the risk of being called Peter Pedantic this is the coldest 'natural' temperature on the Earth but not the actual coldest, that would be in a laboratory where I believe the boffins have managed to create the coldest temperature in the Universe, just above 0K.

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Anonymous Coward

Just above OK?

Still *slightly* too warm then?

Even with the T shirt off??

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Linux

Re: Not 100% Accurate

Try just _below_ absolute zero!

http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-gas-goes-below-absolute-zero-1.12146

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Re: Not 100% Accurate

@ Steve E-G

No, we'd call you Steve E-G Pedantic.

/pedant

SD

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Pint

Bit nippy

Any where with a temperature that has a negative (-) in front of it is too cold for sensible humans. Anywhere with a double digit negative is definitely a place to be avoided, ya can't enjoy a beer when it's that cold.

I'll stick to sunny ol' Oz thankyouverymuch.

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Pint

Re: Bit nippy

I take you're talking about Celsius, not Fahrenheit or Kelvin?-)

They do serve beer in the NHL Winter Classic for example. The temp may well be in double digits negative.

While I haven't done that yet (wrong continent), I've downed many pints in hockey arenas where warm clothing is mandatory and breath is visible...

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a question of scale

TheOtherMe, the simple solution would be to use a different temperature scale. For example, one could take a page from 18th century Russia and bring back the Delisle scale (°D): 40°C = 104°F = 90°D, 20°C = 68°F = 120°D, 0°C = 32°F = 150°D, &c. A negative Delisle temperature will never be too cold for comfort for sensible humans!

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Trollface

Re: Bit nippy

I guess you've never been skiing in sunny ol' Oz then.

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A misspelling perhaps?

"both of which have enjoyed a balmy -67.8°C in "the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth", as NASA puts it."

Perhaps "barmy" would be more appropriate here? Certainly for the residents, at any rate.

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Silver badge

Interesting,

but I think we need to send some people there with actual thermometers just to confirm it.

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