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Climate scientists uncover new record-low temperature in Greenland

A cold day in Greenland
A cold day in Greenland
(Image: © Shutterstock)

On the heels of the hottest summer the Northern Hemisphere has ever seen, U.N. researchers digging through the climate record have reported a chilling discovery: On Dec. 22, 1991, a remote weather station atop the Greenland ice sheet recorded a temperature of minus 93.3 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 69.6 degrees Celsius) — the coldest temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.

The frigid new record, announced Wednesday (Sept. 23) in a statement from the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), shivers past the previous record of minus 90.4 F (minus 67.8 C) set in two different towns in the Siberian Arctic, first in 1892 and the other in 1933. For comparison, all three of those extreme lows sneak past the average temperature on Mars, which is roughly minus 81 F (minus 63 C), according to NASA.

"In the era of climate change … this newly recognized cold record is an important reminder about the stark contrasts that exist on this planet," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in the statement.

Related: Photos: The 8 coldest places on Earth

Contrasting those lows, of course, are extreme highs that continue to set scorching new records year after year, thanks to global warming. In Verkhoyansk, for example — one of the Siberian towns that witnessed the former record-low in 1892 — temperatures reached 100 F (38 C) this June for the first time in recorded history, setting a new record-high temperature for the Arctic Circle.

Meanwhile, Antarctica — which still holds the world record for coldest temperature on Earth (minus 128.6 F, or minus 89.2 C, recorded in 1983) — saw a new  all-time high this February, when temperatures reached 69.35 F (20.75 C) during the Southern Hemisphere's summer.

Greenland's new record low was discovered by a team of so-called "climate detectives" working at the WMO's Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes in Geneva. The temperature was recorded by the Klinck automatic weather station, which was active from 1990 to 1992 near the highest peak of the Greenland ice sheet, according to AP News. The WMO detectives confirmed these results with the original Klinck researchers before making their announcement on Wednesday. Formed in 2007, the WMO Archive has uncovered a slew of similar meteorological records over the years. In June 2020, Archive researchers announced the discovery of the longest lightning bolt ever recorded — a 440-mile-long (700 kilometers) bolt that stretched across Brazil and Argentina on Halloween, 2018. What could be spookier than that?

Originally published on Live Science.

  • Edward
    Where in Antarctica was this high temperature record set? Presumably on the Antarctic peninsula which protrudes considerably north towards Chile where I would not expect very low temperatures.
    Reply
  • Ron McCune 2
    admin said:
    Climate archivists have found the coldest day ever in the Northern Hemisphere, set by Greenland in 1991

    Climate scientists uncover new record-low temperature in Greenland : Read more
    Read my Facebook page at facebook.com/ron.mccune.3 and you will see how global warming started, what caused it and how to stop global warming. The Earth needs all the humidity it can get so that the Earth can create clouds which are the Earth’s ONLY defence against the hot rays of the Sun and also clouds are Earths ONLY rain/water producing thing on our planet! Without clouds we are doomed! We have a much worse global warming problem now because the Earth doesn’t have enough clouds to stop the Sun’s hot rays! Get ALL rooms worldwide enclosed in Cool Tubes and we will see the planet get cooler. Stop flying those gigantic cigar shape vacuum/heating and polluting machines we call jet engine airplanes and start again flying propeller airplanes we would immediately start seeing a cooler planet. Jet planes exhaust temperatures ranges from 800 to 1200 degrees for passenger planes and from 1200 to 2500 degrees for military planes. Rockets are much hotter! Plus they all pollute our atmosphere! ALL of us on Earth live in this bubble that we call an atmosphere that surrounds this floating gigantic rock we live on called Earth! The cool air molecules of outer space invades our bubble daily but it is only so cold. I read where the temperature in the upper atmosphere use to be around 32 degrees below zero. But us humans have been putting up these jet planes and also rockets which is heating up our bubble. Check out a website called flightradar24.com and you will see how many planes are flying around the globe at that moment. Be aware that this site doesn't include any military planes or rockets of any kind in it's displays of flying planes worldwide. Daily we are heating up the bubble we live in and the cold molecules from space travelling into our bubble is no longer enough cold molecules to maintain an environment that we had for the last thousands of years! We either stop it now or soon all the ice and snow on Earth will have melted and we are then in for a whole new weather pattern worldwide which we will not like! Also we have to stop driving combustion engine vehicles and start using electric vehicles or other means of transportation. If we stop using rockets, jet engine planes and combustion engine vehicles then the Earth’s humininty would increase and clouds would form and then there would be less of the Sun’s hot rays reaching the Earth. Then we need to Cool Cube our homes. Doing all this will surely end this global warming problem without even having to shut down any industries pollution problems!



    Wake up to reality folks! Your planet is dying before your eyes! The world's climate conditions are under attack from us humans polluting lifestyles and in about 15-30 years our world's atmosphere will drastically change from how it is now and how it was for the last millions of years. As much as there are major changes happening today to our world's climates what we will face in the future will scare the hell out of all of you no matter what political party you are and no matter what you may or may not believe about global warming! The weakest part of the ice system on Earth is permafrost. Hot weather easily melts permafrost. Since the 1960's on the Russian side of the Arctic Ocean the permafrost in Russia was melting at a more unusual rapid pace. This daily melted permafrost water from Russia has since the 1960's been draining from the lands of Russia into the Arctic Ocean where it then started to melt the ice in the North Pole. There are videos out there showing the yearly progress of the ice melting in the North Pole. In the videos you can see the draining permafrost water yearly melting the North Pole ice. Over the years this former permafrost now melted warmer water was circulating around the North Pole where it then melted much more ice. This warmer water then started circulating around the globe where it started melting the South Pole. As waves reached out into the atmosphere and took in another gulp of now hotter air in our global warming era the oceans water got warmer worldwide from the hotter air and melted permafrost and melted ice. I wish that our government and NASA would start paying more attention to this planet than other planets and figure out just what is happening here on Earth than waste our tax money and much needed scientific work on things that are going on in outer space because these glaciers melting is a sign of very bad things to come! Think about this, what happens when in about 10-20 years when all the Earth's glaciers will have melted. ALL people, animals and plant life that rely on water from streams, rivers and lakes will soon have no more water! Our atmosphere will have less humidity which will mean less clouds which will mean less rain which will mean more areas of the world will be without water! As life around the world goes into chaos because there is enough water to plant food or food or water to feed people and animals the world's order will come to an end! The Sun daily shines on our planet and heats up everything on Earth and as it does it causes water molecules on Earth to evaporate into the sky. That evaporated water molecule somehow can somehow bunch together with other evaporated water molecules where it can form clouds and hopefully rain. If the evaporated water molecules don't form clouds or form clouds that don't produce rain then those evaporated water molecules forever disappear! The Sun can and will will make all the water on Earth evaporate as Suns have done numerous times throughout the universe. So you folks better start doing something now to stop global warming because in about 10 t0 25 years the Earth's environment will no longer be able to support life as we know it. This is a warning, is anybody listening? Does anybody care?
    Reply
  • SillyLilly
    Ron McCune 2 said:
    "...Wake up to reality folks! Your planet is dying before your eyes! The world's climate conditions are under attack from us humans polluting lifestyles and in about 15-30 years our world's atmosphere will drastically change from how it is now and how it was for the last millions of years. As much as there are major changes happening today to our world's climates what we will face in the future will scare the hell out of all of you no matter what political party you are and no matter what you may or may not believe about global warming! evaporated water molecules don't form clouds or form clouds that don't produce rain then those evaporated water molecules forever disappear! The Sun can and will will make all the water on Earth evaporate as Suns have done numerous times throughout the universe. So you folks better start doing something now to stop global warming because in about 10 t0 25 years the Earth's environment will no longer be able to support life as we know it. This is a warning, is anybody listening? Does anybody care?"

    Thank you for the very detailed post on climate change.
    I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone can deny the rapid change we are experiencing. The saddest thing of all is that these changes became a political issue (especially in the US), instead of a planet altering event that effects every living organism. People need to put aside this absurd back and forth fighting. Imagine what might be accomplished if everyone pulled together. Where I live we haven't really had a decent winter for two years. I think we received at most three inches of snow during that time. This summer it felt like we were living in a hothouse.
    I think the main problem is that people don't understand that climate change is not a straight line. It is like a roller coaster with low and high points, but the general trend is always upward. This planet does not belong to us and we have no right to destroy it through our own selfish actions. And I am not speaking from any political platform. It should be obvious by now to anyone that we are due for a huge upheaval. Yet so many people cannot look beyond their own noses. I'm afraid that fact is going to be what dooms the Earth more than anything else.
    There had been a way too short discussion on TV about creating a means to produce oxygen to send upward to replace that which has been lost due to deforestation. This would be the best means to try and re-balance Earth's former formula.
    Humans continue to commit climate suicide. However, we have no right to take other life forms along with us.
    Reply
  • Broadlands
    Even if the problem is as bad as models make it out to be, there is nothing that humans can realistically do that could possibly affect the Earth's climate. That's the reality that few who bemoan the "global warming" understand. The very small rise in global temperatures that has taken place over hundreds of years... from 14.0°C up to last year's 14.75*C is hardly a climate emergency...a planet dying.
    Reply