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New Record High Temperature At South Pole 387

Posted by timothy
from the happy-christmas dept.
New submitter Titus Andronicus writes "The South Pole experienced its highest-ever recorded temperature of -12.3C (+9.9F) on December 25, 2011, according to preliminary reporting from the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center at the University of Wisconsin."
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New Record High Temperature At South Pole

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  • by gedankenhoren (2001086) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @10:41AM (#38526340)
    see http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/blog/2011/12/29/update-on-record-high-temperatures-at-south-pole-and-aws-sites/

    "Here is an update on the South Pole and nearby Nico and Henry Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) record high temperatures recorded on 25 December 2011:
    -- The prior record high temperature at South Pole was recorded on 27 December 1978, not on 12 December 1978, as misquoted in some sources.
    -- Preliminary assessment of  the record high at Nico AWS was -8.2C or 17.2F on 25 December 2011.  This breaks the previous known record of -13.9C or 7F recorded on 4 January 2010.
    -- Preliminary assessment of the record high at Henry AWS was -8.9C or 16F on 25 December 2011. This break the previous known record of -14.5C or 5.9F on 5 January 2010."
  • Disc golf (Score:5, Informative)

    by uigrad_2000 (398500) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @10:48AM (#38526448) Homepage Journal

    Time to play some disc [columbusdiscgolf.com] golf [dgcoursereview.com].

  • Re:ever (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 29, 2011 @10:49AM (#38526450)

    The summary says "highest-ever *recorded* temperature".

  • by frith01 (1118539) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @10:49AM (#38526458)

    previous temp high was in Dec 1978, detail records have been kept since mid 1950's.

    approximate annual average temperature records through ice cores date back about 800,000 years.

  • by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdot.gmail@com> on Thursday December 29, 2011 @11:08AM (#38526708) Homepage Journal
    Actually in the 1970s there was not a big discussion about global cooling. It was something a couple journalists sensationally mentioned in a couple articles. Not scientists. Look it up on snopes.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 29, 2011 @11:39AM (#38527202) Homepage Journal

    Gee, I sure remember it talked about at lot in elementary school.

    And yet, this does not contradict the prior statements in any way.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:13PM (#38527748) Homepage Journal

    Central air can be silent.

    No, it can't. You have to move the air, which causes noise.

    The difference between heating and cooling are many.
    You can easily convert energy into heat, another form of energy. But you can't convert it into cold, which is the lack of energy. You have to generate heat to generate cold -- in fact, more heat than you generate cold, due to entropy.
    Add to this that heat radiates, while cold doesn't. The best you can achieve is not reflecting heat back. So you need to distribute the cold, which takes fans and ducts, and invariably generates noise.

    Unless you have a room with the ceiling consisting of peltier elements, this means moving the cold air from somewhere else to where you want it, and this generates quite a bit of noise. If you're used to 10 dB ambient sound levels when no one is talking, a "silent" central air unit of 30-35 dB sounds rather loud. I know, because I sit in an office with central air right now. Those who are conditioned to the sound won't hear it, but central air is far from silent.
    People here can't hear a mosquito from across the room or their watch ticking on their arm, because it's never silent. In large parts due to air conditioning, including central air.

  • Re:Summer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Deep Penguin (73203) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:24PM (#38527908) Homepage Journal

    The previous record is a matter of record: +7.5F in December, 1978. A few summers ago, we had a very warm week and we hit +7.0F in the middle of several days of above-zero temps. While I'm not a Global Warming denier by any means, the specific cause of these record and near-record temps is weather - specifically large masses of warm(er) air coming in from the coast.

    Normally, the weather at Pole is so predictable it follows a simple pie chart hanging up in the Meteorology office - the chart divides the wind direction into dominant categories such that you can look at the reading from the wind vanes and make a pretty good prediction of the present and impending weather (mostly, winds out of Grid North bring in clearer and drier air; winds out of Grid West are warmer and moister; and winds out of Grid South are infrequent and bring unsettled conditions). This is in part because most of the time, the air movement is katabatic, meaning it's rolling downhill, and the terrain around Pole favors winds from Grid North. While thermally-induced winds are not unknown, they aren't the dominant force. It takes a lot of energy to disrupt the usual patterns; that's part of what "Global Warming" means - the entire atmosphere has more (thermal) energy, so there's more available force to create disruptions on a global scale.

  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @12:55PM (#38528308)

    You have to generate heat to generate cold -- in fact, more heat than you generate cold, due to entropy.

    That's not true. An air conditioner is a heat pump, it moves heat from one place to the other, doesn't create it. A heater converts electricity in heat, so it creates heat.

  • Re:Maxwell's demon (Score:4, Informative)

    by delt0r (999393) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @02:08PM (#38529288)
    What? this thread is crazy. A heat pump will often have a COP for heating as high as 3 and in theory can be as high as 5. That is for 1kW of power i can pump in 3kW of heat (power) into my house. This is without invoking Maxwell demons or any magic. That is Carnot efficiency. I cannot do this with a heat. The COP of a heater is simply 1.
  • by jbengt (874751) on Thursday December 29, 2011 @04:01PM (#38530782)

    You have to move the air, which causes noise.

    False. Well, just about anything causes some noise, but it does not need to be noticeable. Think for a second. Recording studios and TV stations need air conditoining, and have strict limits onthe amount of noise that is tolerable.

    You can easily convert energy into heat, another form of energy. But you can't convert it into cold, which is the lack of energy.

    False. "Converting" energy into cold is the purpose of air conditioning

    ou have to generate heat to generate cold -- in fact, more heat than you generate cold, due to entropy.

    False. Study up on thermodynamics a little. The COP of A/C is usually well over 1.0.

    Add to this that heat radiates, while cold doesn't.

    False. Well, at least in the same sense that the standard direction of flow of electricity is from positive to negative. Radiant heat flow causes the cold side to get warmer and the warm side to get colder. Radiant cooling systems have been in use for a long time, though they're hard to manage in humid climates due to the need to avoid condensation

    If you're used to 10 dB ambient sound levels when no one is talking, a "silent" central air unit of 30-35 dB sounds rather loud. I know, because I sit in an office with central air right now. Those who are conditioned to the sound won't hear it, but central air is far from silent.

    Just because many central air systems are noisy, doesn't mean they have to be. Also, most heating systems include fans and coils/heat exchangers, so can be just as noisy. 10dB or 30 dB by themselves mean nothing, by the way, as dB are relative units, and you haven't indicated the base, nor have you stated whether you are talking sound pressure or sound power. Assuming 10 NC or RC, you're complaining about something that is too quiet to notice in almost all normal environments.

    People here can't hear a mosquito from across the room or their watch ticking on their arm, because it's never silent.

    Often true.

    In large parts due to air conditioning, including central air.

    Seldom true, especially least in the winter.

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