DEATH VALLEY (KXAN) — Death Valley, California may have just broken the official record for the hottest temperature ever reliably measured on Earth, reaching 130°F on Friday.
According to Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground and contributor for Yale Climate Connections, this would beat the current all-time world record of 129.9° measured in the same location on Aug. 16, 2020.
There has been some dispute over the all-time temperature record in recent years. Dr. Masters writes the World Meteorological Organization awards the all-time world record to a 134° reading taken in Death Valley on July 10, 1913. But experts dispute that temperature measurement, saying it was not possible from a meteorological perspective and blame inexperienced observers at the site.
This latest western heat wave is just the latest in a series of ongoing record-setters. Just on Friday, Grand Junction, Colorado — which sits 4,500 feet above sea level — hit 107°, breaking their all-time record high temperature. The recent heat wave last week that sent temperatures in Lytton, Canada to 121° is being blamed for hundreds of deaths from southwestern Canada to Washington and Oregon. The small town was destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire shortly after that Canadian national temperature record was set.
As the climate warms due to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, heatwaves are growing more intense, more frequent and more dangerous.