Where is the Hottest Place on Earth?

Death Valley, California hosts some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded.
Death Valley, California hosts some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded.

The official highest air temperature ever recorded was 134°F (56.7°C) in Death Valley, California. However, it takes more than a single isolated reading to declare a region the hottest place on the planet. The average daily highest temperature of Furnace Creek in the Death Valley is 115 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the hottest place on the planet. The ground temperature is even higher, with readings of up to 201 degrees Fahrenheit. The reasons for the extreme temperature is because the Death Valley is 150 feet below the sea level and air gets warmer with increasing depth. In addition, the valley receives less than 3 inches of rainfall annually.

The El Azizia region of Libya previously held the record for the highest air temperature recorded on the planet until September 13, 2012, when the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) disqualified the records. The 136°F (58°C) set on September 13, 1922, was annulled after an investigation revealed that the temperature was influenced by several factors including the asphalt-like surface where it was recorded.

The Hottest Inhabited Place

The Dallol Region of northern Ethiopia is the hottest inhabited place on the planet with an average annual temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35°C). May, June, July, and August are the hottest months with temperatures averaging 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme heat is attributed to the hot desert climate, lack of vegetation, and the fact that the region lies 430 feet below the sea level.


A research team from the University of Montana studied data from the United States geological survey satellites and discovered that some of places considered the hottest in the planet should not even be contenders. Seven years of data surveyed revealed that the Lut Desert in Iran experienced the highest temperature on the planet, but the finding has not been practically confirmed at the ground level. At one point in 2005, the daily average temperature rose to a staggering 159.3 F (70.7 C). A majority of the hottest spots on the planet cannot be physically measured because they are geographically remote and climatically harsh to access and to maintain a weather station; therefore, ground-based equipment cannot be deployed. The Sahara, the Sonoran, the Lut, and Gobi Deserts are thought to be the hottest surfaces of the planet.

Trends In Global Temperature

Global warming is pushing the extreme temperatures beyond human tolerance. The sea level is rising, summers are getting extremely hot, and winters are freezing. Extreme temperatures are encroaching into human environments, and the once hot but tolerable areas are turning into uninhabitable environments. Inhabited areas such as Bandar-e Mahshahr, Iran; Ghadames, Libya; Kebili, Tunisia; Timbuktu, Mali; and Wadi Halfa, Sudan will be uninhabitable by 2050 should the current trend continue.


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