(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced today that the record holder for the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet had been changed. A record dating back to 1922 in El Azizia, Libya was deemed invalid and thus the honor now falls on a temperature recorded in Death Valley, California in 1913.
On September 13, 1922 a temperature of 136.4°F (58°C) was recorded in El Azizia, approximately 25 miles south-southwest of Tripoli. In looking at data from the event and the circumstances around its measurement, the WMO has deemed the record not to be accurate.
Among the reasons for the change, the WMO cited five factors:
- potentially problematical instrumentation
- a probable new and inexperienced observer at time of observation
- unrepresentative microclimate of the observation site
- poor correspondence of the extreme to other locations
- poor comparison to subsequent temperature values recorded at the site
The WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes now credits the all-time highest temperature as having occurred at Furnace Creek (Greenland Ranch) in Death Valley, California. It was on July 10, 1913, that the mercury climbed to 134°F (56.7°C).
For those that are curious, the world’s coldest temperature occurred on July 21, 1983 in Vostok, Antarctica. On that day the temperature plunged to -128.5°F (-89.2°C).