We have another article on EverythingClimate.org that could use additional review.
Comments and suggestions please on Death Valley’s 130-degree F reading is a world record
Pros: The old record of 134 degrees F in 1913 is flawed and should be discarded.
But the observation is not considered an official world record. In 2013, the World Meteorological Organization officially decertified the officially hottest temperature ever in world history, a display of 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit from Al Azizia, Libya, in 1923. (Burt was a member of the WMO team that made the determination .) The abandonment of the Libyan record was given the official world record for a measurement of 134 degrees Fahrenheit in Death Valley on July 10, 1913.
However, this record was heavily contested by Burt and Herrera.
“The old Death Valley record from July 1913 is 100% wrong (not just 99.9%), as are any other temperature readings of 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher from Africa in the past,” Burt said.
Burt wrote an extensive blog post on Weather Underground in 2016, questioning the 1913 Death Valley record, stating that the official readings of 134, 130, and 131 degrees Fahrenheit, taken on Dec. July 1913, were probably the result of an inexperienced observer. However, in order to decertify the Death Valley record of 1913, an official committee of inquiry from the World Meteorological Organization would have to be set up to investigate the matter, a year-long process for which there is currently no motivation.
In 2012 the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) banned the temperature of 58.0 ° C (136.4 ° F), long regarded as the hottest air temperature ever recorded on earth, on September 13, 1922 in El Azizia, Libya After this record was removed from the books, the temperature of 134 ° F (56.7 ° C) recorded on July 10, 1913 at the Greenland Ranch in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California became the default the hottest air temperature in the world ever recorded. In this guest blog we will examine the credibility of this measurement. This blog is courtesy of William T. Reid, a geographer and climatologist who has been studying the desert climate of California, and in particular the temperature record in Death Valley, for around 30 years. Mr. Reid and I worked together to arrive at a reasonable conclusion as to the validity of this significant planetary weather record: It is possible to show that a temperature of 134 ° F in Death Valley was on July 10, 1913 Basically not possible from a meteorological point of view, using an officially sanctioned USWB shelter and thermometer, and following proper procedures.
Since the record high observations at Greenland Ranch from July 7-14, 1913 cannot be explained meteorologically, the conclusion of this investigation is that the observer, Oscar Denton, knowingly or inadvertently exaggerated the maximum temperatures during this period. This was probably the result of his lack of experience as an official USWB observer, coupled with the strong notion that the temperature measurements from the USWB instrument protection over the cooling influence of the irrigated Lucerne lawn were inadequate. Given the much higher temperatures displayed on other household thermometers on the ranch, Mr. Denton may have felt that the “official” Stevenson screen observations did not accurately reflect the extreme heat he took for granted. The July 1913 heatwave was the first for which he was “responsible” as an official COOP observer, and perhaps he was unfamiliar with measuring temperature in a controlled environment, i.e. a Stevenson screen supplied by the USWB and official equipment ( Thermometer). they accompany such. So he drew on his own experience of the heat in Death Valley and the temperatures associated with it, exaggerating the temperatures shown on the maximum thermometer to values that he thought were more realistic.
The Greenland Ranch weather station was in a very conservative location, a relatively cool place in Death Valley. If the 129 ° F to 134 ° F observations at Greenland Ranch from July 9th to 13th were authentic, then the peaks at the nearest surrounding stations during this 5-day period would have been much hotter than actually observed.
Finally, it cannot be conclusively established that Mr. Denton intentionally or unintentionally exaggerated his observations. However, it is possible to show that on July 10, 1913, Death Valley had a temperature of 134 ° F Basically not possible from a meteorological point of view using an officially sanctioned USWB shelter and thermometer and observing proper procedures. Thus, the best explanation for the July 1913 record high report (s) is an observer’s error.
Cons: 134 degrees in 1913 is still the official record and there is no need to change it.
According to the National Weather Service, this dispute is not an issue and 1913 holds the record. See the tweet below from July 9, 2021.
Tune in to social media and you’ll hear shouting that says, “Many forecasters believe the 1913 readings should be decertified as unreliable, just like the 2012 readings in Libya. If decertified, which is likely, this would be the new record that dwarfs last year’s measurement of 129.2 degrees F in Kuwait. “
The “many meteorologists” boil down to the opinion of Christopher Burt of popular weather website Weather Underground, who is promoting decertification based on his favorite theory that hot grains of sand in a dust storm added warmth to the thermometer bulb on July 10th. 1913. Or that there was an “observer error”. But there is no science or history to support it; it’s just an opinion.
The only way to prove the grain of sand theory would be to set up an experiment in Death Valley with a test stand on a day like this 130 ° F reading last weekend to blow grains of sand into the weather protection where the thermometer is located. You would have to use the actual sand there as sand varies greatly in size and composition. Burt wants you to believe the weather station is unreliable, but history says otherwise.
There is little doubt about the reliability of the Greenland Ranch weather station in Death Valley, California. The US Weather Bureau (now known as the US National Weather Service) established this weather station in 1911 in partnership with the company that operated the ranch. In their own words, the US Weather Bureau “carefully tested the maximum and minimum thermometers” and found that “the instrument protection at this station is the same as that used at several thousand other weather stations used by the Weather Bureau in the United States to be entertained ”. The US Weather Bureau sums it up by stating: “The extreme maximum temperature of 134 ° F recorded on July 10, 1913 is the highest natural air temperature ever measured on the surface of the earth with a standard tested thermometer exposed in a standard ventilated instrument guard became “.
Click on any of the images above to view the history of the station. The images are from the Monthly Weather Review publication.
But here is something that the media tends to ignore. July 1913 had several days at or above 128 ° F. For Death Valley this is simply “business as usual”. In fact, in 1913, over 100 years ago of “global warming,” Death Valley’s official weather station at Greenland Ranch hit 130 ° F or higher three times in July. This was an intense stretch of hot weather from the 5th to the 14th when the high temperatures reached 125 ° F or more each day. In fact, this 10-day track is still considered to be the hottest track ever recorded in Death Valley. The hottest days during this period occurred on the 9th through the 13th when the high temperature hit at least 129 ° F, with the hottest being on July 10 when the record-breaking 134 ° F was recorded.
Here is the table of high temperature records for Death Valley. Note that the top three records occurred in July 1913. Six of the top 25 records were in July 1913. So much for Burt’s opinion of “meteorologically impossible” and “observer error”.
Until it is decertified by the World Meteorological Organization, this “unreliable” opinion about a well-known temperature record that has been accepted for over 100 years remains completely wrong. The highest temperature of 134 ° F as the hottest ever remains a fact.