An automated weather service station in the United States has recorded a temperature of 54.4C (129.9F) at Death Valley in California.
The extreme heat as of Sunday August 16, 2020, came with an intensive heatwave, and if verified, would be the hottest reading ever reliably taken on planet since 56.6C (134F) was registered at the same place on 10 July, 1913.
Previously, official reading in 1913 shows the hottest taken on the planet’s surface; however, the reading accuracy has long been disputed by experts.
Meteorologists at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) installed the 1913 reading as the Earth’s highest temperature
The reading installation came after an investigation dismissed a temperature of 58C (136F), which was recorded in Libya in 1922.
Many have also challenged another older reading of 55C (131F) taken in Tunisia in July 1931.
But some experts have criticized the report of the 1913 Death Valley heat, saying it is “essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective”.
Other experts believe modern readings of 54C (129F) at Death Valley on 30 June, 2020 and in Kuwait in 2016 and Pakistan in 2017 are the most reliably recorded top temperatures on the planet.
With an increased temperature and humidity fall at 7%, Death Valley, which is close to California border with Nevada, stands as the hottest and driest location in the US.
World Meteorological Organization group leader Professor Randy Cerveny, who specializes in climate extremes, said Sunday’s recording was “legitimate”.
“Everything I’ve seen so far indicates that is a legitimate observation. I am recommending that the World Meteorological Organization preliminarily accept the observation,” he said in an email.
He said that experts will be investigating it in detail in the weeks to come, along with the US National Climate Extremes Committee, including one of the international evaluation teams.
Experts say extreme temperatures will become more and more common over time due to climate change.
As it stands, Sunday’s record of extreme heat at Death Valley is likely to meet the conditions named as officially the Earth’s hottest on record.