Satellite finds highest land skin temperatures on Earth

David J. Mildrexler, Maosheng Zhao, Steven W. Running

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has approximately 11,119 weather stations on Earth's land surface collecting surface temperature observations. Around the same time that the Death Valley record air temperature was measured, an analysis of the temperature conditions of air and soil was conducted in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. At 1:00 p.m. Physical considerations indicate that the most extreme maximum temperatures will occur at bare soil surfaces under full solar illumination and low wind speed, where the soil is dry and has a very low albedo and low thermal conductivity. As part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS), two MODIS instruments have been launched to provide information for global studies of atmosphere, land, and ocean processes. The Lut Desert, located in southeast Iran, has long been regarded as one of the hottest places on Earth. Numerous studies have examined the relationship between the expression of severe thermal temperature across this hyper arid landscape and the unique natural physical characteristics of the Lut.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-860
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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