A weather station at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station registered record cold winter temperatures this season (April – September), averaging at -61.1 °C (-77.9 °F) and breaking the previous record set in 1976 at -60.6 °C (-77 °F). Weather records date back to 1957.
The average temperature at the station was 2.5 °C (4.5 °F) colder than the most recent 30-year average.1
According to University of Wisconsin researcher Matthew Lazzara, an expert on observing the meteorology and climate of Antarctica, it was around -73.3 °C (-100 °F) at the station on numerous occasions this winter.2
On September 30, the temperature at Russia’s Vostok Station dropped to -79.3 °C (-110.9 °C), just short of the world record for the lowest temperature in October, which is -80 °C (-112 °F). The all-time world record is -89.2 °C (-128.6 °F), registered at Vostok Station on July 21, 1983.3
The extreme cold the region experienced this year pushed Antarctica's sea ice levels to their 5th highest level on record.
Additionally, according to a new paper by Zhu et al., a cooling trend dominates East Antarctica and West Antarctica, while a warming trend exists in the Antarctic Peninsula except during austral summer.4, 5
1 South Pole posts most severe cold season on record, a surprise in a warming world – Capital Weather Gang
2 South Pole Sees Record Cold Winter, Smashing 1976 Record …WaPo Admits “Chill Was Exceptional” – NoTricksZone
3 Scott Duncan – Twitter
4 An Assessment of ERA5 Reanalysis for Antarctic Near-Surface Air Temperature – MDPI – Open Access
5 Scientists Find “Surprising” And “Statistically Significant” Cooling Trend Over Entire Continental Antarctica – NoTricksZone
Featured image credit: Scot Jackson, NSF
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