On 13 September 2012 the World Meteorological Organisation disqualified the record for the highest recorded temperature, exactly 90 years after it had been established at El Azizia, Libya, with a measurement of 58°C. The official highest recorded temperature is now 56.7°C (134°F), which was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, USA.
As a result of an investigation in 2012, the WMO concluded that the El Azizia record measurement could be inaccurate by as much as 7°C due to a combination of factors including the asphalt-like surface over which the measurement was taken, which is not a fair representation of the native desert soil.
Randy Cerveny, a member of the WMO and professor of geography at Arizona State University, commented in 2012: "This investigation demonstrates that, because of continued improvements in meteorology and climatology, climate experts can now re-analyze past weather records in much more detail than ever before."
He added: "We accept that Death Valley temperature extreme record. Obviously if any new materials on it surface, we will be prepared to open an investigation, but at this time all available evidence points to its legitimacy."
The air temperature of the aptly named Furnace Creek in Death Valley reaches a staggering average daily high of 115°F.
It gets even hotter on the ground: a measurement of 201°F was taken on July 15 1972 - just 11 degrees away from the boiling point of water.
One of the reasons that Furnace Creek is so incredibly hot is because it is approximately 190 ft below the sea level, and air warms as it gets lower.
In addition to this, there is less than three inches of rain in the desert valley each year.