Death Valley California recorded temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit this month, a measurement that could be the highest reliably manufactured ever on Earth .
Or not. For decades, Libya's world record heat was a reading of 136.4 degrees in 1922, but this was dismissed about a decade ago after scientists discovered methodological errors The record that officially superseded it, a 134-degree reading from Death Valley in 1913, is itself disputed.
Journalists love to cover our health and the leaves the planet . The Seven hottest years in the history of accurate global record keeping have been the last seven years, and 19 of the hottest 20 years have been since 2000; worldwide June 2019 was the hottest month on record for the month, and June 2020 Essentially matched it.
But the process of formally certifying such records may require months, or even years, of nuanced verification. expensive lab.
"If you just want to know if it's freezing outside, your little home weather station is fine," said Andrea Merlone, metrologist in Italy which recently helped certify two readings from Kuwait and Pakistan .
"But if you have to rate a case, then you have to go down to the millikelvin level," he added.
Wait a minute with us. Metrology is the science of measurement, and a millikelvin is equivalent to one thousandth of a kelvin, the unit of measure on a temperature scale that starts at absolute zero - or minus 273.15 degrees Celsius or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. Away metrologists establish the validity of suspected temperature records is to check weather sensors with instruments that are themselves accurate to a thousandth of a degree Celsius, or one millikelvin.
'This reading is a real reading ' Image Destruction in Biloxi, Mississippi, of Hurricane Camille in 1969. Scientists have discovered that the Storm winds were weaker than previously thought. Credit ... Joe Holloway Jr. / Associated Press
Country specific weather data or to a region are often managed by national agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States and the Met Office in Great Britain .
In 2016, for example, scientists from NOAA and Florida International University reanalyzed Hurricane Camille, whose estimated 190 mph wind speed upon landing in 1969 was the highest of any hurricane in the Atlantic. By combining a study of original observations from ships, weather stations, coastal radar, and other data with current understanding of hurricanes, the researchers found that Hurricane Camille winds - around 175 mph. - were weaker than previously assumed when it hit the Mississippi. As a result, a pair of storms with winds of 185 mph. - a Hurricane of 1935 that hit the Florida Keys and Hurricane Dorian in 2019 - topped the list of Atlantic storms with the highest wind speed at landing.
Internationally, the certification work of weather records falls to the World Meteorological Organization, a United Nations agency that has opened a title Weather archive and climatic in 2007.
"From a WMO point of view, it is important to evaluate them scientifically with some sort of security to say : "This reading is a real reading, it was measured at this location and we are convinced that it is the observation lhas higher or lower of this variable "said Manola. Brunet, chairman of the agency 's Commission for Climatology.
Dr. Brunet, a geographer at Rovira i Virgili University in Spain, said the committees organized by the WMO typically consist of eight to 12 experts and that at least 20 cases have been assessed since 2007. Of these, only the 1922 Libya reading was a reassessment of an official record; the others were more recent and had not been officially confirmed.
In In the case of Libya, the WMO research yielded a peer-reviewed scientific article which identified a number of issues with the 1922 reading, including "Problematic instrumentation" and an observerinexperienced.
In a more recent WMO survey, one of the agency's committees accepted a reading of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.9 Fahrenheit) as of February 2020 as The highest temperature observed in the Antarctic region . He also dismissed a slightly higher value, from an Antarctic permafrost monitoring station, as biased, although he noted that the station was "not badly designed for its purpose " .
Dr Brunet said WMO may soon decide to open an investigation into another weather record: a gust of wind at 253 mph in Barrow Island, Australia, in 1996, considered the strongest on record. She said the agency was consulting engineers in mecanic for their opinions on how the anemometer, which measures wind speed, was installed on the island at the time.
Death Valley Dispute Image A 134-degree reading of Death Valley in 1913 is itself disputed. Credit ... Associated press
Jeff Masters, meteorologist and co-founder of Weather Underground , an online information service, explains that the reason for which more temperature records are not set aside is that the processus is taking too long. 1851, which started two decades ago, a so far reached only year 1965 .
" There are hundreds of temperature records in the United States alone that would not survive re-analysis "said Dr. Masters. " The most famous of these is the hottest ever world record temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913 in Death Valley. "
Two condition experts extreme weather, William T. Reid and Christopher C. Burt, have argued on the Weather Underground site that the 1913 reading was not "not meteorologically possible ", in part because it was not consistent with other sightings made in this part of Death Valley during the same week . They say the man who recorded the temperature at Greenland Ranch in California in retrospect appears to have "knowingly or inadvertently" exaggerated the reading, and may not even have been present at the time. -there.
But Randall Cerveny, who leads the World Meteorological Organization 's efforts to research and verify global weather records, said in an e- mail that the 1913 reading was still recognized as the "t hottest temperature on record for the United States and the world.
Dr. Cerveny, who teaches geographic sciences at Arizona State University and worked with Mr. Burt to demystify the folder of Libya of 1922 , describes the research of the Death Valley dossier of 1913 by Mr. Burt and Mr. Reid as "conjectural, not new evidence." He added that the US Climate Extremes Index, a NOAA project, also chose not to investigate.
"We do not reject records without substantial evidence proving their inaccuracy "he said.
As for the more recent Death Valley records, Dr Cerveny stated that WMO is always trying to verify a Reading 129.9 degrees from this area on August 6, 2020 .
If confirmed, it would bethe third highest temperature ever recorded on Earth and the second highest in the United States. But Dr Cerveny said the investigation "is taking some time " as his team tested the temperature sensor that took the reading.