The summer of 2021 broke multiple temperature records. When the air temperature in Canada reached 49.6 °С one day in July. In Canada, this heat can only be compared to that in 1937, but then the temperature never went over 45 degrees Celsius. Tropical heat also hit European Russia and East Europe. It is abnormally hot in Yakutia and East Siberia. It is hard to imagine on such hot sunny days that there is no sunlight at all on the South Pole now, because it is polar winter there, with the lowest temperatures of the year. Once, such temperature record was registered at Vostok Station.

The Soviet/Russian Vostok Station, located 1,253 km away from the South Pole is the only mainland Antarctic station. It was named after Vostok, a sailing sloop that was one of the ships of the Antarctic expedition of 1819 – 1821. The station was founded in 1957. Polar explorers have been doing research there for decades, since the location of the station is one of the best for studying the magnetic field of Earth. In addition, polar explorers conduct aero-meteorological, glaciological (ice studies), climate and even medical research. 

The South Pole is much colder than the North Pole. In terms of average temperatures, it is −40°С on average in the winter in the North Pole, while in the South Pole it is −48.9°C. This is because the North Pole is at sea level, while the South Pole lies in a continent followed by an ice mass (Vostok Station sits on an ice layer 3,700 m high). Temperatures in the South Pole itself vary as well. As explorers were opening the stations Mirny, Pionerskaya, Vostok 1, and Komsomolskaya, the temperatures were getting increasingly lower, and in 1958, the record low temperature for the stations – -87.2°С – was registered at Vostok Station, which is 1,410 km from Mirny Station. After that, the station was even sometimes referred as the planet's “pole of cold”.

But that was not the last record for the station. According to Interfax, in 2020, Vostok Station registered the lowest recorded temperature for March, which broke the record of 1982. “The recent air temperatures at the station have been extremely low. The lowest March minimum since 1982 was registered last week, which was –75.3°С,” according the stations’ report for March 19-26, 2020.

Amazingly, these are not the lowest atmospheric temperatures for Earth. Rossiyskaya Gazeta, referring to an article in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, reported in 2018 that American researchers had found out that temperature in the Antarctic could go down to almost –100°C. The temperature of –98°C was detected by remote sensing in the eastern part of the Antarctic. But these data are not recognized by all scientists due to doubts regarding the new temperature testing method. 

Vostok is still the coldest place on Earth,” insists Randy Chervenu, geography professor at the University of Arizona and a specialist of the World Meteorological Organization. — That research used remote sensing rather than the standard weather stations, therefore we, in the World Meteorological Organization, don't recognize the results,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta quotes.




Abnormal heat, wildfires and melting ice as links of the same chain.

The heat in Canada has reached the record 49.6 degrees.

The Antarctic Vostok Station registered the record low March minimum temperature

Vostok Station

“Breathing hurts there”: The coldest place in Earth has been found

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