An worldwide team of glaciologists who study the natural ice on the Earth's surface, analyzed satellite observations of Antarctica and recorded the temperature of -98 degrees Celsius in the Eastern part of the Antarctic plateau.
Meanwhile, meteorologist Jeff Masters at the Weather Underground Category 6 blog is reporting today that "a singularly unenviable heat mark" was set on Tuesday in Quriyat, Oman: a 24-hour low temperature of 42.6 degrees C. But weather stations can't measure temperatures everywhere.
In 2013, satellite sensors caught temperatures of -135 degrees Fahrenheit (-93 degrees Celsius).
However, an updated analysis using data gathered by NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites and NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellites during the Southern Hemisphere's winter between 2004 and 2016, came up with lower values.
Remarkably, the lowest temperatures observed at all of these hollows on the ice sheet was right around minus 98 Celsius, even though some of them were spaced tens of miles apart.
Researchers discovered tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica's ice sheet reach temperatures of almost minus 100 degrees Celsius (minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter.
The new study also found out how such cold temperatures are possible, again building on the previous 2013 research.
The absolute coldest temperatures were found in those pockets of air that sat still for several days, and the team says that for the mercury to drop much further those conditions would need to remain still for a few weeks at a time.
"In this area, we see periods of incredibly dry air, and this allows the heat from the snow surface to radiate into space more easily", says Ted Scambos, lead author of the study.
New research revealed even colder temperatures in the coldest place on Earth, potentially transforming scientists' understanding on how cold it can get on our planet's surface.
A view of the surface of East Antarctica, with snow blown into small dunes. After all, water vapor is known to trap heat in the air.
In 1926, there was recorded temperature -71,2 degrees Celsius (according to unofficial data, in 1938 - -77,8 degrees Celsius).
The coldest temperatures on Earth are located in eastern Antarctica. This allows the surface and the air above the dips to cool still further. Scambos's team suspected that it could get even colder at the very highest parts of the ice sheet.
When the researchers first announced they had found the coldest temperatures on Earth five years ago, they determined that persistent clear skies and light winds are required for temperatures to dip this low.
For now at least, this is as cold as the Earth could go.
"There's a limit to how long the conditions persist to allow it to cool to these ultra-low temperatures, and a limit to how much heat you can actually get through the atmosphere, because water vapor has to be nearly nonexistent in order to emit heat from the surface at these temperatures", he said. To get a more accurate reading, the researchers plan to visit some of the sites in the next few years (during summer, of course) and deploy instruments.