Death Valley now holds the record for world's hottest temperature

Randy Cerveny

The New York Times reported on responses to the World Meteorological Organization’s announcement that Death Valley, Calif. now holds the record for the world’s hottest temperature.

ASU Professor and Senior Sustainability Scientist Randy Cerveny coordinated the international effort to evaluate the validity of the previously-held hottest-temperature record, which was based on a 1922 reading in El Azizia, Libya. Cerveny holds the title rapporteur of climate extremes for the World Climate Organization, and in this role brought together a team of 13 meteorologists – including experts from Libya, Italy, Spain, Egypt, France, Morocco, Argentina, the United States, and the United Kingdom – to evaluate the Libya record.

The New York Times article discusses responses to the announcement in the Death Valley community – for example, Randy Banis, the editor of an online newsletter promoting the area, stated “You don’t underestimate Death Valley.  Most of us enthusiasts are proud that the extremes that we have known about at Death Valley are indeed the most harsh on earth.”

“There are a lot of places that do like these records,” said Cerveny for the New York Times report. “It can be a source of pride for that country or a source of contention for other countries. Politics, unfortunately, are going to play a role sometime in the determining of these records.”

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