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The Calmest weather on earth.


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The calmest place on Earth has been discovered, not on a tropical island or a remote mountain valley but on top of a vast icy plateau in Antarctica.

Scientists pinpointed a site, known simply as Ridge A, high up on the Antarctic Plateau, several hundred miles from the South Pole.

The atmosphere at the site is so still that the stars have lost their twinkle because there is no turbulence in the atmosphere to distort the starlight.

Hardly any weather passes by: few clouds, barely a wisp of wind and no falling snow. The air is 100 times drier than the Sahara and the winter averages -70C (minus 94F), which also gives Ridge A the accolade of the driest and coldest place in the world.

Related Link

Antarctica is warming, not cooling, study finds

Despite the Antarctic’s reputation for blizzards, the storms tend to be confined to the continent’s valleys and coastline as cold air runs down from the high icesheets like water rushing down from mountains.

High on the vast Antarctic Plateau all is peace and calm, though. At 4,053m (13,300ft) Ridge A is so high that the scientists also discovered that it lies at the head of all three of the Antarctic’s huge glaciers, each the size of Western Europe. This hardly makes Ridge A the ideal tourist destination, but for astronomers it is paradise. A team of Australian and US scientists trawled through data from satellites, ground weather stations and computer climate models to find the ideal location for an astronomical telescope that would not suffer from the weather. Reporting in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, they found one of the least cloudy places in the world where the there is no greenhouse effect and the air is bone dry because it is so cold.


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