As heat waves continue across the United States and Europe, Sicily recorded a potentially record-breaking temperature of 119.84 Fahrenheit on Wednesday.
If verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), it would be the hottest day on record for Europe. Currently, the hottest verified temperature on the continent is 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit and was recorded in Greece on July 10, 1977.
Elsewhere in Europe, fires have devastated parts of Greece, also affecting Turkey. Nearly 200 million people in the United States are on some form of heat advisory, with many cities experiencing abnormally high temperatures this summer. This week the United Nations released a climate report that shows climate change is accelerating.
This graph shows the highest temperatures recorded for each continent. While some documents are recent, others date back more than a century.
Here are the temperature records by continent:
Europe: 50°C in Greece on July 10, 1977.
- A temperature of nearly 120 degrees F was reported in Sicily on Wednesday; however, it will not be the record unless WMO verifies it.
North America: 134° F at Furnace Creek (Death Valley), California, July 10, 1913.
- Note: This record has been disputed, however, and another high temperature was recently recorded at 130°F on July 9, in Death Valley, awaiting verification.
South America: 120°F in Rivadavia, Argentina, December 11, 1905.
Africa: 131° F in Kebili, Tunisia, July 7, 1931.
Asia: 129.0°F ± 0.2° at Mitribah, Kuwait on July 21, 2016.
Antarctica: 64.9°F on February 6, 2020.
Australia: 123° F at Oodnadatta on January 2, 1960.