Getting accurate temperature measurements in some of the world’s hottest places is incredibly difficult because they are not occupied. The climate is harsh and the places are difficult to access, let alone maintain a weather station. That’s why most of the hottest places on the earth are measured by satellites rather than ground-based instruments. Summer for people in the Northern Hemisphere means pleasant and warm weather, but summer in the extremely hot places is downright brutal.
Top 10 hottest places on earth
The human-accelerated global warming is leading to even hotter temperatures with each passing year. In the near future, more places will suffer from drought, extreme heat, and heatwaves. NASA uses satellites with a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to measure temperatures in the extremely hot places around the world that are almost uninhabitable. Here’s the list of hottest places in the world.
10- Dallol, Ethiopia
Dallol is located in the volcanically-active region of the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. It used to be a mining settlement in the 1960s, but Dallol has now become an abandoned ghost town. It witnesses some of the hottest temperatures all year-round. It has an average temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit every day, with daytime temperature easily going above 100 degrees.
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9- Aziziyah, Libya
Also called El Azizia, it held the crown for the hottest place on earth for more than 90 years. It recorded a temperature of 58 degrees Celsius in 1922. But a few years ago, the World Meteorological Organization declared it invalid for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons cited by the WMO was that the person who recorded the temperature was inexperienced. The controversy aside, no one can deny the fact that Aziziyah regularly sees temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the midsummer.
8- Wadi Halfa, Sudan
Wadi Halfa is located in Sudan on the border of Egypt. The highest temperature ever recorded in the town was 127 degrees Fahrenheit in April 1967. Notably, the original Wadi Halfa was submerged when the Aswan High Dam created Lake Nasser in 1971, forcing more than 50,000 people to leave the town. Violent dust storms are pretty common during summer.
7- Tirat Zvi, Israel
Tirat Zvi in the Beit She’an Valley is located west of the Jordan River. It has a population of fewer than 1,000 people, most of them farmers. Harsh summers make life difficult in Tirat Zvi, which is situated 722 feet below sea level. In June 1942, temperatures of 129 degrees Fahrenheit were recorded here. The kibbutz is the largest date grower in Israel with close to 20,000 trees.
6- Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu is an ancient city sitting north of the River Niger near the Sahara Desert. It used to be a popular trade destination in the past. It has a population of around 60,000 people, who withstand temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit during summer. Giant sand dunes often cover parts of the city. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the town is 49 degrees Celsius.
5- Ghadames, Libya
Ghadames is an oasis town and a UNESCO World Heritage site in southwest Libya. It has a population of around 10,000, most of whom live in houses made of thick mud walls to survive the brutal heat. The temperatures in summer go as high as 131 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature ever recorded is 55 degrees Celsius. The town is often described as “the pearl of the desert.”
4- Kebili, Tunisia
Kebili is also an oasis in Tunisia, North Africa. According to scientists, humans inhabited this place about 200,000 years ago. People often gather to cool off by the water or under palm trees. It’s not uncommon for the desert town to experience temperatures of 132 degrees Fahrenheit. The highest temperature recorded in Kebili is a whopping 55 degrees Celsius.
3- Rub’al Khali, Arabian Peninsula
Rub’al Khali is the largest continuous sand desert in the world. It covers about a third of the Arabian Peninsula. The climate is harsh, scorching hot and dry with the annual rainfall of less than 1.2 inches. The highest temperature ever recorded here is 133 degrees Fahrenheit.
2- Death Valley, California, US
Death Valley is located in the Mojave Desert of California. The area is uninhabitable, but animals such as snakes, mice, and bighorn sheep could be seen roaming around at night. Death Valley was declared the hottest place on the earth by the WMO. According to the National Park Service, the highest temperature ever recorded was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. That’s the highest temperature ever directly recorded (not by satellite) anywhere in the world. The average temperature today reaches around 47 degrees Celsius.
1- Dasht-e Lut Desert, Iran
NASA measured temperature in Dasht-e Lut Desert using satellites over a 7-year period. At one point, the US space agency recorded the highest ever temperature of 159 degrees Fahrenheit (70.5 degrees Celsius). It pushes the limits of human survival. The desert is spread over 200 miles. The area is abiotic, meaning no life exists in the salt desert – not even bacteria.
Some other places that witness harsh summer temperatures are The Flaming Mountain in Xinjiang region of China and Badlands of the Queensland Outback in Australia. With global warming showing no signs of abating, the location of the hottest places on the planet could shift in the coming years.