The temperature in Death Valley went up to 130 degrees Sunday afternoon in the middle of a historic heatwave in the West, a predictor of actual a world record for the highest recorded August temperature.
If the temperature is real, it will also rank at any moment, and could be the highest, among the top-three highest temperatures ever accurately measured on the earth.
Death Valley temperatures hit 130 degrees at 3:41 p.m. Sunday Pacific time, according to the National Weather Service. If confirmed, the reading will break the previous record for Death Valley in August by three degrees, the National Weather Service tweeted.
“What I’ve seen so far shows that this is a real phenomenon,” wrote in an email Randy Cerveny, who heads the environment and climate extremes department of the World Meteorological Organization. “I recommend that the observation be accepted preliminary by the World Meteorological Organization. We will be discussing it in-depth in the coming weeks, along with the U.S. National Committee on Climate Extremes, use one of our multinational evaluation teams.’
Death Valley holds the record, which is 134 degrees, for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth. On July 10, 1913, the record was set. Nevertheless, this calculation is questionable; Christopher Burt, an authority on severe weather statistics, performed an exhaustive study of that record in 2016, concluded that it was “essentially not conceivable from a meteorological perspective.”
Some climatologists find the 129-degree readings reported in Death Valley on June 30 , 2013, and in Kuwait and Pakistan in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to be the highest ever measured reliably on earth. If only those measurements are taken into account then the 130-degree temperature on Sunday will unseat them as the highest recorded.
How to handle yourself when the weather is hot
Climate studies have concluded that climate change has serious effects on Western and Southwestern wildfire activity.
It can have an impact on infrastructure too. As well as stretching power grids and causing blackouts, severe heat can cause aircraft to ground, melt roads, and overheat to dangerous levels inside cars.
Extreme weather events can also have a serious impact on agriculture-either by wilting and dying vegetables, or by promoting the spread of plant diseases.