Death Valley Breaks Records as Global Heatwave Intensifies, Prompting Concern for Public Safety

Death Valley, California – Death Valley, known as the hottest place on Earth, experienced extremely high temperatures on Sunday, marking the end of a scorching summer that has affected the entire globe. Meteorologists reported that Death Valley came close to breaking temperature records on that day. In Buckeye, Arizona, the heat claimed a life when an elderly man died in the desert after his bike had a flat tire and he was forced to walk. Heat warnings and advisories were in effect for approximately 83 million people in the U.S. on Monday, with the hottest weather occurring in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Death Valley reached 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, 134 degrees Fahrenheit, was also in Death Valley in 1913. Higher temperatures above 130 degrees have been recorded in Death Valley only a few times. Randy Cerveny of the World Meteorological Organization noted that such high temperatures are becoming more common due to global warming.

The extreme temperatures in Death Valley did not deter tourists from visiting. Many flocked to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to take selfies with the digital thermometer as proof of their visit to the hottest place on Earth. Just a few miles away at Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, tourists also braved the heat to take pictures on the salt flats.

While the heat wave in Death Valley has attracted attention, it is just one part of the extreme weather affecting the U.S. over the weekend. Five people died in Pennsylvania due to a flash flood caused by heavy rains, and concerns about landslides arose in Vermont due to ongoing rainfall. Heat waves, although less visually dramatic than other natural disasters, can be more deadly. Last month, a heat wave in parts of the South and Midwest caused the deaths of more than a dozen people.

The National Weather Service predicts that the heat wave will continue in the Southwest, South Central U.S., and South Florida. Residents in these regions are accustomed to extreme temperatures, but precautions are still being taken. Cooling centers have been opened for those without access to air conditioning, and fair-goers at the California State Fair were urged to stay hydrated and seek refuge in air-conditioned buildings.

Heat records are being broken across the U.S. and globally, with Europe experiencing devastating heatwaves and floods occurring in the U.S. Northeast, India, Japan, and China. July has been an exceptionally hot month, and there is a possibility that 2023 will be recorded as the hottest year on record.

While Death Valley holds the title for global heat records, some experts have questioned the accuracy of the temperature readings. Weather historian Christopher Burt disputed the 110-year-old record and believes a temperature of 130 degrees recorded in Death Valley in 2021 is the hottest ever recorded. However, the analysis is still ongoing. Other uninhabited places like Iran’s Lut Desert could be as hot as Death Valley, but no measurements are taken there.

The rising temperatures are a result of long-term human-caused climate change. The burning of coal, oil, and natural gas is contributing to the steady increase in global temperatures. While there may be fluctuations in yearly temperatures, the overall trend is one of warming.