China’s automatic weather station withstanding ultralow temperature successfully tested in Antarctica

06-03-2018Source:China Meteorological News Press

Recently, the polar meteorological laboratory with Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences announced that the testing of automatic weather station withstanding ultralow temperature was made a success in Antarctica, making China the third country capable of conducing continuous observations of the Antarctic in the wake of Australia and America.

This automatic weather station was set up on the peak of Antarctic ice cover, namely, Dome A on January 6, 2017. After testing for one year, it proved to be stable and reliable and recorded temperatures as low as -70℃ and -78.9℃ during the testing.

Antarctica boasts one of the world's harshest environments. The lowest air temperature can drop to -89.2℃ and the wind speed can strike 100 meters per second. This continent is 97% covered with ice with an average elevation of 2300 meters and an average annual temperature of -35℃, making Antarctica the highest and coldest continent on Earth. The adverse environment and polar night make automatic observations unusually difficult. Only a very few countries own capabilities of carrying out long-term continuous automatic observations, making the data retrieved invaluable.

The polar meteorological laboratory has begun to develop multiple devices which can operate in extremely cold environment since 2010. Over the past eight years, some researchers set sail to Antarctica to test these devices. At length the next generation of Antarctic automatic weather station achieved success through trial and error.

Currently, automatic weather stations withstanding the low temperature(-60℃) and ultralow temperature (-100℃)have made their home in Antarctic stations of Taishan, Ross Sea, Grove Mountains, Kunlun and Arctic drifting stations. They are expected to be an invaluable resource for researchers, forecasters, as well as the general public, as they yield gathering important meteorological information about the Antarctic. The expected continuous observations will be a strong supporter for polar weather and climate change research. (March 6)

Reporter Cui Guohui and Guo Xiaoying

Editor Wu Peng