Death Valley may have just measured hottest temperature ever on Earth

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DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, CA JULY 14: Heat waves rise near a heat danger warning sign on the eve of the AdventurCORPS Badwater 135 ultra-marathon race on July 14, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California. Billed as the toughest footrace in the world, the 36th annual Badwater 135 starts at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, 280 feet below sea level, where athletes begin a 135-mile non-stop run over three mountain ranges in extreme mid-summer desert heat to finish at 8,350-foot near Mount Whitney for a total cumulative vertical ascent of 13,000 feet. July 10 marked the 100-year anniversary of the all-time hottest world record temperature of 134 degrees, set in Death Valley where the average high in July is 116. A total of 96 competitors from 22 nations are attempting the run which equals about five back-to-back marathons. Previous winners have completed all 135 miles in slightly less than 24 hours. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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.

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