Meet The American Who realised The World's Most Legendary Weather Record Was Wrong

Christopher C. BurtWeather historian Christopher C. Burt

Photo: Dead Heat

Until today, the title holder for world’s hottest temperature belonged to the city of Al Azizia in Libya. That record of 136.4°F was measured at an Italian military fort on September 13, 1922.   Exactly 90 years later, the World Meteorological organisation has overturned the all-time high temperature following a lengthy probe spearheaded by Weather Underground’s Christopher C. Burt, WunderBlog’s Dr. Jeff Masters reports.  

The weather historian recounts the incredible journey that led to today’s historic decision in a blog post.  

The investigation, also the subject of a 25-minute documentary titled called Dead Heat, took more than a year and included an international team of 13 scientists.  

Climate experts concluded that the measurement was inaccurate for several reasons.

Masters explains:

Most seriously, the temperature was measured in a paved courtyard over a black, asphalt-like material by a new and inexperienced observer, not trained in the use of an unsuitable replacement instrument that could be easily misread. The observer improperly recorded the observation, which was consequently in error by about 7°C (12.6°F.)

TemperatureThe actual log sheet of the observations made at Azizia in September 1922.

Photo: Dead Heat

Death Valley, California now has the honour of being home to the hottest temperature measured on Earth: 134°F recorded on July 10, 1913.   

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