The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Coldest Temperature On Earth

search icon
Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Earth Science Revised Third Edition. New York. Prentice Hall, 1987: 217. "… the temperature in Vostok, Antarctica, dropped to nearly −89.2 °C, the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth." −89.2 °C
World Book Encyclopedia. New York. World Book, 2000: A530. "Scientists recorded the world's lowest temperature, −128.6 °F (−89.2 °C), at Vostok Station …." −89.2 °C
Weather at the Coldest Place On Earth: Vostok Antarctica. Central Atlantic Storm Investigators (CASI), 1999. "Vostok, Antarctica holds the world's record for coldest temperature: −129°F (7/21/83)." −89.4 °C
McFarlan, Donald. Guinness Book of Records. New York. Guinness Publishing, 1992: 42. "−126.9 °F. Vostok, Ant. Aug. 25, 1960" −88.3 °C
Antarctica Weather. The Antarctic Connection, 2000. "Antarctica has the coldest average annual temperatures, and the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth (−129 °F) was at Vostok on July 21, 1983." −89.4 °C
Pomeroy, Marc. Antarctic Facts. 1999. "Vostok station (Russian) NEW RECORD SET IN 1997!!! This is an unconfirmed report from Vostok Station during the winter of 1997. −91 °C (−132 °F) This is colder than Dry Ice! The "official"record is also from Vostok station on July 21, 1983 −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F)" −91 °C
−89.2 °C

Vostok, Antarctica is the home of the coldest temperature on Earth at a cool −89 °C (183 K). At the Russian research station the temperature is regularly in the −30 to the −60 °C mark. This chilly weather is due to the exceptionally high speed of the arctic winds. The katabatic or downward type winds that bring the brisk temperature, travel with speeds up to 200 mph (about 90 m/s) from inland toward the coast of the continent. As one moves toward the higher region inland -- that is, toward the true pole -- the temperature drops from its normal −40 °C to −80 °C. The coldest temperatures usually occur during the winter months of July and August. That is when Antarctica is in its days of darkness. Warmer temperatures, usually still well below freezing, during the all daylight summer months of December and January.

Antarctica also holds the previous record of the lowest temperature on Earth at −88 C. Although still unofficial, Vostok Station may have broken its own record for the coldest temperature on Earth. It has been reported that Vostok reached the temperature of −91 °C during the winter of 1997.

Yong Li Liang -- 2000

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Vostok, Antarctica - Average Temperature. [Climate data from the appropriately named See table below.] −32.1 °C to −67.6 °C
NASA-USGS Landsat 8 Satellite Pinpoints Coldest Spots on Earth, Text issued as NASA Headquarters release No. 13-364 (9 December 2013) "Researchers analyzed 32 years' worth of data from several satellite instruments. They found temperatures plummeted to record lows dozens of times in clusters of pockets near a high ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji, two summits on the ice sheet known as the East Antarctic Plateau. The new record of minus 136 F (minus 93.2 C) was set Aug. 10, 2010." −93.2 °C
(record low)
Vostok, Antarctica
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
−32.1 −44.3 −57.9 −64.7 −65.6 −65.2 −66.9 −67.6 −66.0 −57.1 −43.3 −32.1 −55.1
°F −25.7 −47.6 −72.1 −84.4 −86.0 −85.3 −88.3 −89.6 −86.7 −70.7 −45.8 −25.7 −67.1

Editor's Supplement -- 2002, 2013

External links to this page: