The question “Which is the coldest city in the world?” came more into the discussion, when an Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton felt extremely cold and wrote a letter to his friend in London in 1902, he mentioned extreme cold and its deadly effects on his team members.
“Unfortunately we lost one of our crew members in a deadly ice storm and we also lost one of the lieutenants and three more men. The weather is very cold and the lowest temperature has been -52.2 C”, Shackleton wrote.
Although Antarctica is the coldest continent, now very few scientists visit it every year. Many cities remain cold the whole year, so, Which is the coldest city in the world?
The title of “coldest city in the world” belongs to the Russian city of Yakutsk. It is located in Siberia and is one of the world’s oldest and less populated regions. In Yakutsk, around 336,200 people reside, in which most of the people work for a company named Alrosa, which runs a diamond mine in the city. In Yakutsk, the temperature had reached minus 60 degrees Celsius. Some people of Yakutsk city said that they had experienced even the lowest temperature, but they had not been able to verify it as the thermometer only reads down as far as -63 C.
While Yakutsk is the coldest city there are few less inhibited, populated places that are also more frigid. Oymyakon in Russia where only 500 people live reached minus 71.2 C in 1924.
But these two places are not interestingly closer to each other as they are 928 kilometers far away from each other and it takes 21 hours to go from one city to another. Then why are these regions so frigid and why do even people live in such difficult environments? Alex DeCaria, a meteorology professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, said that Siberia is so cold due to a combination of high latitude and it is such a huge landmass.
The extremities of global temperature have tended to rise and fall over continents because land heats up and cools down faster than the oceans. In the context of Siberia, the cover of ice has a major impact as it keeps the region cool by reflecting the incoming rays from the sun to space. Such factors are the cause of the birth of a semi-permanent high-pressure zone forming over Siberia during winter known as the “Siberian High.”
High pressure over high-latitude continents generally has stable air, low humidity, and clear skies which results in very cold surface temperature. As low humidity and clear skies allow the longwave radiation like infrared and microwave that are emitted by Earth to reach the top of the atmosphere and get emitted to space at last results in cold surface temperatures.
The topology is like in the case of Yakutsk and Oymyakon also plays a huge role. As Jouni Räisänen, a senior lecturer at INAR told, “These regions are in local valleys and also surrounded by higher terrain”.
Cara Ocobock, a biological anthropologist says, “I think people take pride where they reside and feel the ingenuity by living in such colder and harsh places.” So when it comes to where we have to live whether, in extreme cold or extreme hot regions, it depends where individuals can adapt themselves as in the end it is the adaptation that matters.
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