Nearly a century after the fact, California's Death Valley on Thursday was recognized as having posted the hottest temperature on Earth — replacing Libya, which experts now say was a case of overcooked data.
A reading of 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit had been claimed at a Libyan outpost on Sept. 13, 1922. That stood as the record until Thursday's announcement by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that a panel of experts had concluded otherwise.
As a result, the WMO now recognizes 134 degrees F (56.7 degrees Celsius) as the highest surface temperature ever recorded.
The measurement came from Death Valley, Calif., on July 10, 1913.
In a study published Thursday, the experts said they had "identified five major concerns" with the Libya data, starting with "potentially problematic instrumentation" — in other words, an unreliable thermometer.
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