Temperatures the last couple of days in Kuwait and southern Iraq broke long-standing records for Asia with reaching 54 centigrades (129 F) in Mitribah and Basrah (on July 21 and 22, respectively), see here. Weather historian Christopher C. Burt even made the claim that the Kuwaiti reading may be the hottest temperature ever measured reliably on Earth.
In the above table, temperatures are displayed for the previous day. One may observe that Mitribah is right now hit by another heat wave, the third this summer with temperatures beyond 50 degrees.
When I lived in Kuwait between 2001 and 2007, never temperatures rose (officially) to or beyond 50 degrees (122 F). But people distrusted official announcements then. There seems to be a vividly discussed article in the Labor Law that nobody has to work outdoors if it is 50 degrees plus (as if it would make a difference if it was 49), and on one of the tall towers downtown the actual temperature was prominently displayed (in a way cheating the public since at 50 meters altitude it is considerably cooler anyway).
But where is Mitribah?
At the right longitude and latitude, GoogleEarth indicates in fact an outpost in the middle of the desert. It is actually located 34 km west to Highway 80, the road to and from Basrah. On that Iraqi armored divisions invaded Kuwait exactly 16 years ago in August 1990. And on that road the infamous turkey shoot happened six months later, when US and Canadian aircraft and ground forces attacked retreating Iraqi military personnel attempting to leave Kuwait on the night of February 26–27, 1991. Since then, the road is known as Highway of Death.
At the latest, since last year when probably thousands died in devastating heat waves in Pakistan (this year the same happened in India before the monsoon), the hottest places on Earth have ultimately been taken captive by global warming.
4 August 2016 @ 4:16 am.
Last modified August 4, 2016.
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