World temperature record set in California's Death Valley

By Jonathan Allen and David Becker FURNACE CREEK, Calif. (Reuters) - One of the hottest air temperatures recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached on Sunday afternoon at Death Valley in California's Mojave Desert where it soared to 130 Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius). An automated observation system run by the U.S.

Reuters August 18, 2020 06:10:22 IST
World temperature record set in California's Death Valley

World temperature record set in Californias Death Valley

By Jonathan Allen and David Becker

FURNACE CREEK, Calif. (Reuters) - One of the hottest air temperatures recorded anywhere on the planet in at least a century, and possibly ever, was reached on Sunday afternoon at Death Valley in California's Mojave Desert where it soared to 130 Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius).

An automated observation system run by the U.S. National Weather Service in the valley's sparsely populated Furnace Creek reported the record at 3:41 p.m. at the crest of an extreme heat wave, a more frequent occurrence due to climate change.

It was a dry heat: Humidity fell to 7%. But it felt "insanely hot" all the same, according to meteorologist Daniel Berc at the weather service's Las Vegas bureau. A heat wave roasting much of the western United States would continue all week, he said on Monday.

"It's literally like being in an oven," he said in a telephone interview. "Today is another day we could take another run at 130F."

Tourists on Monday took selfies by an outdoor thermometer at the Death Valley visitor center while avoiding touching metal surfaces with bare skin.

Those who live and work in Furnace Creek, which had a population of 24 in the 2010 census, saw cause for pause in the record.

"We are seeing more records being broken at a daily and monthly level," said Brandi Stewart, a public information officer for Death Valley National Park who can see the Furnace Creek weather station from her window. "It is significant that we're seeing more records breaking."

A temperature of 134F (56.7C) was recorded in Death Valley in July 1913, and Kebili, Tunisia, is said to have hit 131F in July 1931, according to the World Meteorological Organization. But recent research by Christopher Burt, an extreme weather expert, has led some meteorologists to view these older records as the results of observer error.

Climate change has pushed global temperatures to new highs. In Europe, northern Spain broke local heat records in July, while wheat fields in France caught fire.

Forests across Siberian Russia are seeing unprecedented wildfires, while the Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low for July due to melting.

In Furnace Creek, staff and guests at The Oasis hotel were being urged to wear hats and sip water relentlessly while outside, according to general manager John Kukreja.

He tells guests that extreme heat does strange, deceptive things to the body.

"You're going to sweat and the sweat's going to dry instantly and you're never going to know you actually felt hot," he said. "Your hair stands on end. It's almost like you feel like you're cold, like goose bumps."

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York and David Becker in Furnace Creek, California; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Philippa Fletcher, Chizu Nomiyama, Mark Potter and Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.