LAST UPDATED: August 26, 2020 by Ryan McCain
There are different types of temperature measurements so it depends on which type of measurement we are talking about when answering this question. I found records for air temperature, land surface temperature, and land skin temperature. Air temperature seems to be the most common of the three.
The highest registered air temperature ever recorded on Earth was 134.1 °F (56.7 °C) in Furnace Creek, California, located in the Death Valley desert in the United States, on July 10, 1913. Furnace Creek also holds the record for the highest recorded land surface temperature on Earth at 201 °F (93.9 °C) in July 1972. Death Valley has an average summer temperature of over 110 °F (43.3 °C ), making it the hottest place on Earth.
For decades, a measurement of 136.4 °F (58 °C) in El-Azizia, Libya in September 1922 was thought to be the record for the hottest air temperature. However, in 2012, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially disqualified the record, concluding the measurement could be off by as much as 7° due to a combination of factors, including the asphalt surface that the measurement was taken above of.
The WMO also admits that it’s possible the 1913 Furnace Creek air temperature record might be invalid due to a sandstorm that was taking place at the time, causing heated surface materials to register in the weather station. If true, this would mean that the temperature measured was not the actual air temperature. Multiple experts are also skeptical of this measurement.
If the 1913 record were to be invalidated, the highest recorded air temperature on Earth would be 129.2 °F (54.0 °C ), recorded both in Death Valley in June 2013 and at the Mitribah weather station in Kuwait in July 2016.
The standard way to measure air temperature is by using a thermometer about five feet from the ground in a weather station that is shielded from direct sunlight. Satellites are also used to measure temperature, but these measurements are considered less reliable than thermometers on the ground. The highest land skin temperature ever recorded by satellite is 159.3 °F (70.7 °C) in the Lut Desert in Iran in 2005.
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- Many scenes in the original Star Wars movies were filmed in Death Valley.
- Death Valley averages under 2.5 inches of rain annually.
- Death Valley was named by gold seekers who had to cross it in order to reach the gold fields in 1849.
- There are dozens of abandoned mines and ghost towns in Death Valley.
- GuinessWorldRecords.com – Highest recorded temperature
- Wikipedia.org – Highest temperature recorded on Earth
- CheatSheet.com – What’s the Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded on Earth? The Answer Will Make You Sweat