A warning sign in Death Valley, California.
  • Death Valley, California, recorded the world's highest temperature since 2017 when it reached 59 degrees Celcius on Sunday.
  • It was recorded at the aptly named Furnace Creek, Death Valley's official weather station.
  • The news comes amid a heatwave baking the southern United States. The high temperatures are expected to move north and east later in the week.
  • Meteorologists have warned that 2020 could become one of the hottest years on record.
  • For more stories, go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

The official weather station in Death Valley, California, recorded a temperature of 128 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degree Celsius) on Sunday, the highest recorded temperature on Earth since 2017.

A temperature of 128.7 degrees Fahrenheit (53.7 degree Celsius) was recorded in Turbat, Pakistan, in May 2017, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

According to Guinness World Records, Death Valley holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth, a blistering 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56 degrees Celsius) in 1913. However, this number has been disputed as some meteorologists question old temperature records, according to the WMO.

The heat was so extreme in Death Valley on Sunday that cars were breaking down. Death Valley National Park officials said on Facebook that rangers were able to respond to "at least three vehicles," but that "no major incidents were reported." Officials noted that the Furnace Creek Visitor Center thermometer shows "temperatures a degree or two hotter than the official temperatures."

The southern United States has been experiencing a heat wave that has seen a number of record-breaking temperatures. Texas reported temperatures of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), an all-time high for the month of July, according to Fox News.

Earlier this year, meteorologists said 2020 could become one of the hottest years on record. So far, NASA ranks it just behind 2016, which experienced a strong El Niño through the first half of the year, warming colder winter and spring temperatures.

Last month, Insider reported that the Arctic hit its hottest temperature ever, recording just over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). The number was 32 degrees higher than normal Arctic temperatures. Climate scientist Martin Stendel said on social media that such record-breaking temperatures would be a "1 in 100,000" year event if not for climate change.

Climate data dating back to 1880 shows the hottest years on record have all occurred in the past five years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The effects of climate change go beyond record-breaking temperatures. Climate change will lead to "extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts," according to National Geographic.

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