WASHINGTON — The temperature in the Iranian city of Ahvaz climbed Thursday to a blistering 129 degrees, a record high for the Middle Eastern country and among the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth.
Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist with French weather service Meteo France, posted to Twitter that the temperature officially reached 53.7 degrees Celsius, or 128.7 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also the hottest recorded June temperature in Asia, according to Kapikian.
The previous record high in Iran was 127.4, set in 2011 and tied in August 2014.
As The Washington Post first noted, Weather Underground’s website listed the high temperature in Ahvaz on Thursday as 129.2 degrees. With humidity, the heat index reached an astounding 142.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
The incredible temperature comes less than two weeks after Khasab, Oman, a city located on the Persian Gulf, set a global record for “hottest overnight low temperature,” according to Weather Underground. On the morning of June 17, the temperature there dropped to a low of 111.6 degrees.
The World Meteorological Organization officially lists Earth’s all-time high temperature as 134 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in 1913 in Death Valley, California. But that record has been the subject of much debate.
Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt lists the “hottest reliably measured temperature on Earth” at 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in Death Valley in June 2013 and Mitribah, Kuwait, in July 2016.
Climate scientists warn that extreme heat will continue to worsen as human activity drives global climate change. In January, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed 2016 as the hottest year on record, marking the third consecutive year of record-high global temperatures.
A recent University of Hawaii study found that without global action to reverse the climate crisis, 3 in 4 people on the planet could be exposed to deadly heat waves by 2100. And even with aggressive emission reductions, up to 48 percent of the global population will likely be plagued by at least 20 days of lethal heat per year by the end of the century.
Last week, extreme heat scorched the U.S. Southwest. In Death Valley, the temperature soared to 127 degrees. And in Phoenix, American Airlines canceled flights as temperatures edged toward 120 degrees — beyond the point that certain types of commercial aircraft can function.