Monday, September 17, 2012

New paper finds Earth's highest recorded temperature was in 1913 instead of 1922

According to a paper published today in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the world record highest temperature extreme of 56.7°C (134°F) was actually during 1913 in Death Valley, CA, rather than in 1922 in Libya. Paradoxically, both recordings occurred when CO2 was "safe."

World Meteorological Organization Assessment of the Purported World Record 58ºC Temperature Extreme at El Azizia, Libya (13 September 1922)

Khalid Ibrahim El Fadli1Randall S. Cerveny2Christopher C. Burt3Philip Eden4David Parker5ManolaBrunet6,13Thomas C. Peterson7Gianpaolo Mordacchini8Vinicio Pelino8Pierre Bessemoulin9José LuisStella10Fatima Driouech11M.M Abdel wahab12Matthew B. Pace2
1.Climate & Climate Change Department- Libyan National Meteorological Center (LNMC)
2.Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences (Weather Underground, Inc.)
4.Chilterns Observatory Trust
5.Met Office Hadley Centre, UK
6.Centre for Climate Change (C3), Dept. of Geography, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain
7NOAA's National Climatic Data Center
8.Climatological Department of the Italian Air Force Meteorological Service
10.National Meteorological Service, Climatology Department, Argentina
11.Climate Studies Service at the Direction de la Météorologie nationale of Morocco
12.Department of Astronomy and Meteorology, Cairo University, Egypt
13.Climatic Research Unit - School of Environmental Sciences - University of East Anglia - UK
On 13 September 1922, a temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was purportedly recorded at El Azizia (approximately 40 kilometers south-southwest of Tripoli) in what is now modern-day Libya. That temperature record of 58°C has been cited by numerous world record sources as the highest recorded temperature for the planet. During 2010–2011, a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission of Climatology (CCl) special international panel of meteorological experts conducted an in-depth investigation of this record temperature for the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes (Cerveny et al., 2007a; Cerveny et al., 2007; Quetelard et al. 2009) ( This committee identified five major concerns with the 1922 El Azizia temperature extreme record, specifically (a) potentially problematical instrumentation, (b) a probable new and inexperienced observer at time of observation, (c) unrepresentative microclimate of the observation site, (d) poor correspondence of the extreme to other locations and (e) poor comparison to subsequent temperature values recorded at the site. Based on these concerns, the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has rejected this temperature extreme of 58°C as the highest temperature officially recorded on the planet. The WMO assessment is that the highest recorded surface temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch (Death Valley) CA USA.

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