As new research emerges, we learn how our planet experienced the coldest temperature ever recorded.
A team of researchers led by Dr Simon Proud, a research fellow at the Department of Physics and the National Centre for Earth Observation, made the discovery and measured the unprecedentedly cold temperature atop a thunderstorm cloud in the Pacific. The new data is genuinely intriguing yet shocking.
Here is what you need to know.
The Coldest So Far Here on Earth
According to new data, Earth was over 30 degrees Celsius colder than the usual storm clouds. Such a thing marks the coldest measurement to date of storm cloud temperature.
Back in December 2018, the VIIRS sensor on the American NOAA-20 satellite experienced one of the toughest thunderstorms in the South Western Pacific, about 400km South of Nauru. Researchers reported that the event was so strong that it reached the troposphere, then the stratosphere.
It continued long enough, cooling as it gained height despite the upper warmer air. The overshooting top phenomenon (scientifically titled) continued, cooling the storm cloud to -111 degrees Celsius: the coldest ever recorded.
You can see the graphic below:
Dr Proud stated:
“[…] we found that these really cold temperatures seem to be becoming more common – with the same number of extremely cold temperatures in the last three years as in the 13 years before that.”
Satellites and More Data
Thanks to VIIRS, researchers succeeded in detecting those cold temperatures. This sensor can measure everything on fantastic detailed spatial scales. But that’s not all.
Using the right tools, researchers’ work is also valuable. Their findings and reports are vital to monitor cold clouds. And that’s mainly because sensors can’t be precise at cooler temperatures.
Without accurate knowledge, the extreme storms would go unnoticed. Havoc can be created, and an unbalanced Earth would also start to tremble.
More details will be soon available. According to researchers, Earth will encounter more cold periods in the future.