Mapping the hottest temperatures around the world

At least 22 countries have recorded maximum temperatures of 50C (122F) or above. Al Jazeera looks at the hottest places on Earth.

Monday, July 3, was the hottest day ever recorded globally, according to data from the United States National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 degrees Fahrenheit), surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92C (62.46F) as summer heats up across the Northern Hemisphere.Authorities have reported an uptick in heat-related deaths as temperatures exceed 40C (104F) in many places this summer.

Highest temperatures ever recorded

Currently, the highest officially registered temperature is 56.7C (134F), recorded in California’s Death Valley back in 1913. The hottest known temperature in Africa is 55C (131F), recorded in Kebili, Tunisia in 1931. Iran holds the record for Asia’s hottest official temperature of 54C (129F), which it recorded in 2017.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Europe was 48.8C (119.8F) on the Italian island of Sicily on August 11, 2021. On July 19, 2022, The United Kingdom recorded its highest-ever temperature, reaching 40.2C (104.4F), according to its Meteorological Office.

In 2020, Seymour Island in Antarctica recorded a maximum temperature of 20.7C (69.3F). According to the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO), temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula have risen by nearly 3C (5.4F) over the past 50 years.

The map below shows the hottest temperatures ever recorded in each country around the world. At least 22 countries have recorded maximum temperatures of 50C (122F) or above.

How temperature is measured

The temperature that you see on the news or the weather app on your phone relies on a network of weather stations positioned around the globe.

To ensure accurate readings, weather stations use specialist platinum resistance thermometers placed in shaded instruments known as a Stevenson screen at a height of 1.25-2 metres (4-6 feet) above the ground.

There are two well-known scales used to measure temperature: Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Only a few countries, including the United States, use Fahrenheit as their official scale. Most of the rest of the world uses the Celsius scale named after Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius who invented the 0-100 degree freezing and boiling point scale in 1742.

The world is getting hotter

Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record. Collectively, the past eight years have been the warmest since modern record-keeping began in the 1880s, according to NASA.

This annual temperature data makes up the global temperature record, which tells scientists the planet is warming.

According to NASA’s temperature record, Earth’s average surface temperature in 2022 tied with 2015 as the fifth warmest on record.