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Death Valley recognized as world's hottest spot

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September 14, 2012 02:55 PM EST | AP

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DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — California's Death Valley has racked up another extreme accolade – it's now deemed the world's hottest place.

Long known as the lowest, driest and hottest spot in the United States, Death Valley this week was named as the hottest place on the globe by the World Meteorological Organization.

An international team of weather experts said the title comes after it investigated a long-held record from El Azizia, Libya, and found that an inexperienced weather observer recorded the temperature incorrectly.

The Libyan record was logged as 136.4 degrees on Sept. 13, 1922 – 90 years ago Thursday. It was set after the observer broke a more reliable instrument and used a complicated and less reliable type of thermometer, experts said. They believe the temperature was off by about 5 degrees.

The new official highest recorded surface temperature is 136 degrees on July 10, 1913, in Death Valley. The average daily high temperature in Death Valley last month was 113 degrees. The hottest day this year was July 11, with 128 degrees.

The committee included experts from Libya, the United States, Egypt and other countries.

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