In Death Valley the thermometer touched 54.4 degrees Celsius. Possibly a world record.
A record-breaking temperature of 54.4 degrees Celsius has been measured in Death Valley, USA. This unprecedented heat is the highest temperature ever recorded in the American desert in August. And it may even be a world record.
Death Valley is a desert-like valley located in the US state of California. It’s no surprise that the mercury can rise quite a bit here. For example, it is known to be one of the hottest places in the world in summer, along with some desert areas in Africa and the Middle East. But that the thermometer reaches 54.4 degrees Celsius is unique. At the moment, the United States is facing an immense heat wave, which is ravaging large parts of the country.
It remains to be seen whether the newly measured temperature is a new world record. On July 10, 1913, a temperature of 56.7 degrees Celsius was also recorded in Furnace Creek in Death Valley. And in the Tunisian city of Kebili, the mercury is said to have risen to 55.0 degrees Celsius. However, the reliability of these measurements is seriously questioned by several weather historians. That is why a temperature of 54.0 degrees Celsius, measured in 2016 in Kuwait and in 2017 in Pakistan, is currently recorded as the highest temperature ever.
In any case, the newly measured temperature in Death Valley is in the top 3. Moreover, it is the highest temperature ever in the area in the month of August. Climate experts will now investigate the extreme records of the past to test their reliability. Then it will become clear whether a new world record was indeed set last weekend.
It is not the first time that heat records have been broken. That happens more and more often. After nearly 75 years of holding out, our own national heat record – set on August 23, 1944 – fell last year. On Wednesday 24 July 2019, a temperature of 39.3 degrees Celsius was measured in Eindhoven. That is no less than 0.7 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature recorded in Warnsveld in 1944. But long-standing heat records are also broken in the coldest places on earth. In the city of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, for example, the mercury recently rose to a record-breaking 21.7 degrees Celsius . Temperatures are also skyrocketing in Siberia. In June, temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius were measured locally .
The large and protracted temperature deviations raise the question of whether this may gradually become the new normal. A new normal, prompted by global warming. Yet heat records appear to be newsworthy. The question is, are they surprising too?