By Aaron Eben
As the impact of climate change becomes increasingly evident, extreme weather events and rising temperatures are making headlines across the globe. On July 6th, a new record was set as the hottest day ever recorded globally, with a global average temperature of 63.01°F (17.23°C). This surpassed the previous record which was set in August 2016, signaling the intensifying climate crisis. In this week’s Map Of The Week, we will delve into the hottest temperatures ever recorded in various regions around the world and explore the significance of these extreme weather phenomena.
While the global average temperature provides an overview of climate trends, it is the extreme high temperatures that have captured public attention. Currently, the highest officially registered temperature in the world is 134°F (56.7134°C), recorded in North America in California’s Death Valley in 1913. A close second, Africa’s hottest recorded temperature of 131°F (55°C) was recorded in Kebili, Tunisia in 1931. In 2017, Iran experienced its highest official temperature of 129°F (54°C), setting the hottest record for Asia.
The map above, created by AJLabs, reveals at least 22 countries such as the United States, China, and South Africa have registered maximum temperatures of 122° F (50°C) or above. It is a stark reminder of the intensifying heatwaves and their accompanying disasters that pose significant challenges to human health, ecosystems and infrastructure.
The consecutive warmest years on record, indicate a clear pattern of global warming. Earth’s average surface temperature has been steadily rising, and the past eight years have been the warmest since modern record-keeping began in the 1880s, according to NASA. This data boldly reinforces the scientific consensus that the planet is undergoing significant warming due to human-induced climate change. As extreme heatwaves become more frequent and intense, it is crucial for individuals, communities, and governments to prioritize climate action and mitigate the causes and impacts of global warming.