What could be the highest temperature on Earth has been recorded in the Death Valley National Park, California, USA.

There is an ongoing heatwave on America's west coast and a high of 54.4C (130F) was recorded at 3:41pm on 16 August in Furnace Creek, Death Valley.  The reading is now awaiting official verification.

With the west coast heatwave set to continue until mid-week, so a new highest temperature may yet be recorded.

Until yesterday, the highest temperature reliably recorded on earth - also in Death Valley - was 54C (129.2F) in 2013.  An even higher temperature (56.7C (134F)), from the Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, was taken on 10 July 1913 but the reliability of this reading is disputed.

It is possible that 2020 could become the hottest year ever recorded, with persistent high temperatures occurring in the northern hemisphere.  In Siberia this June, a record temperature of 38C was recorded and Siberia as a whole experienced temperatures that were more than 5C over the average from January to June 2020. 

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