|I thought the hottest desert on Earth was the Lut
Desert in Iran. More than 159 degrees according to
my research. Isn't this so? |
|Question Date: 2018-08-31|
Whether the Lut Desert is defined as the hottest
desert depends on your definition of
"hottest". If you mean the hottest temperature
recorded to date, then yes, the Lut Desert
has the hottest recorded temperature. However,
other definitions of "hottest" may lead us to
different answers. For instance, if we define
"hottest" as "having hottest average
temperatures", then the Lut Desert may not be
the hottest. There are also more practical
definitions such as wet bulb temperature,
which is measured by placing the thermometer in an
environment of maximal evaporation.
The concept of wet bulb temperature can be much
more useful for humans in terms of survival
than dry bulb temperature, which is the
temperature we are told from the weather forecast,
because wet bulb temperature accounts for the
process of evaporative cooling, which is
the main ways we cool ourselves when we sweat. the
usefulness of wet bulb temperature can be
illustrated like this: Suppose we're in a hot but
dry place, and we have access to plenty of water.
We're not likely to suffer harm in such a place
because drinking water and sweating will help us
maintain a reasonable body temperature. However,
if we are in a humid place that is not as
hot as the dry place in terms of dry bulb
temperature, we may still suffer physical harm
because our sweat would not be able to evaporate
as efficiently, and our body temperature would
therefore not be regulated as well. To sum up this
answer, it depends on your definition of
"temperature" and "hottest".
My research says the same thing:
"The single highest land skin temperature recorded
in any year of the study was found in the Lut
Desert in 2005 and measured a stunning 159.3 F
(70.7 C). Lut had the highest surface temperature
in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 as well.
While the location of the hottest place on Earth
might shift from year to year, the conditions that
give rise to it remain the same: Dry, rocky and
dark-colored lands are good at absorbing heat,
while lighter sand will tend to reflect more
sunlight. When comparing natural-color images
from Landsat of the Lut Desert to the infrared
images, the darker areas show up as the hottest
This is from a good website:
El Azizia took the record for highest temperature
ever recorded on Sept. 13, 1922, when a
thermometer on a weather station hit a whopping
136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius),
thanks to southerly winds blowing in hot air from
over the Sahara Desert. The sweltering temperature
displaced the previous record holder of 134 F,
measured at the Furnace Creek weather station in
Death Valley on July 10, 1913.
But neither of these places, hot though they may
be, deserves the banner of "hottest place on
Earth," according to new research by a University
of Montana team using data from the U.S.
Geological Survey's Landsat satellites.
According to NASA's Earth Observatory
website, the Lut Desert currently holds the
record of the highest measured temperature,
but like everywhere else the Lut Desert
fluctuates, and there are other places that
have measurements of their own that have come very
close, including places in the Taklamakan Desert
in China north of Tibet, and even a subtropical
shrubland in northern Queensland, Australia.
Finally, there is a difference between the
ground temperature and the temperature
of the air above it. The ground during the
daytime is heated by the sun, and the color of
the ground determines how much light it
absorbs. A black rock sitting in the sun
will be warmer than a white rock sitting
next to it.
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