Death Valley is approaching the global heat record as sweltering temperatures continue across the globe.

Temperatures are hot in Death Valley

Temperatures are hot in Death Valley

Temperatures in the valley, which runs along part of central California's border with Nevada, reached 53.3C on Sunday (16.07.23) at the appropriately named Furnace Creek.

The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 56.7C at the same location, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Temperatures of 130F (54.4C) have only been recorded on the planet a handful of times, with the majority of instances occurring in Death Valley.

The digital thermometer at Furnace Creek's visitor centre read 130F at the weekend but this figure is yet to be officially verified.

Randy Ceverny, the World Meteorological Organization's record coordinator, said in an email: "With global warming, such temperatures are becoming more and more likely to occur.

"Long-term: global warming is causing higher and more frequent temperature extremes. Short-term: this particular weekend is being driven by a very, very strong upper-level ridge of high pressure over the western US."

Scorching temperatures in the US have been replicated globally as Europe, Asia and Africa contend with punishing heat.

China recorded its highest-ever temperature with the remote township of Sanbao hitting 52.2C - nearly two degrees above the previous benchmark.

Italy has issued red alerts for 16 cities due to the heat with Spain and Greece reporting similar extremes. Meteorologists have warned that the high temperatures could continue into August.