Astrobiologist Shows What Happens When You Try to Cook in Antarctica at -94ºF (-70ºC)
Today’s topic is about glaciologist and astrobiologist, Cyprien Verseux. He is among the 13 people living and researching Antarctica. Among the 13 people, there are technicians, scientists, a cook, and a medical doctor. These people live at the Concordia Station in Antarctica. When not busy with his research, Cyprien is a blogger who keeps records of his time and his living in the freezing climate. People are quite interested to learn how humans can survive in a place where even bacteria cannot.
1What is Antarctica?
Antarctica is the southernmost continent on planet earth and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere. It is the fifth-largest continent on the planet-spanning 14,000,000 square kilometers (5,400,000 square miles). Antarctica is described to be twice the size of Australia. Around 98% of the entire continent is covered in ice.
2The conditions here
The weather conditions here are the driest, coldest, windiest among all the continents on the planet. Antarctica is kept in the category of deserts as the annual precipitation is only around 200 mm. The ice that covers the continent is around 1.9km in thickness. The only places humans can survive are manmade research stations that are scattered all over the continent.
It is considered to be one of the coldest places on the planet as the temperatures have reached a stunning −89.2 °C which is −128.6 °F. During the third quarter which is said to be the coldest time of the year, the temperature drops to −63 °C (−81 °F). From space, the temperature was recorded to be −94.7 °C or −135.8 °F.
Sustaining life in these conditions is not easy and the organisms that can, do so after years of adapting and evolving. Among the organisms found here are bacteria, protists, algae, fungi, etc. The animals that live here are penguins, tardigrades, seals, mites, etc. The vegetation is categorized as tundra.
5The people who live there
For research purposes and science, many scientists and technicians are sent to live in Antarctica. They live in man-made shelters called stations where they are kept warm and have rations for months. Sometimes these people are cut off from the rest of civilization as the cold prevents vehicles from coming and going to the stations.