This is a series of emails written by me, inviting fellow colleagues in the Department of Civil Engineering, UTP for the weekly coffee break. Attendee - lecturers, technicians and postgraduate students.
The conventional method of air temperature measurement is by measuring at 1.5 m above ground level. Basically, the temperatureof the free air circulating in the area is measured. However, in reality, the hottest temperature is at the surface of the Earth, where the thermal energy is more concentrated. A report by Mildrexler, D.J., Zhao, M., and Running, S.W. (2006) presented a synthesis a method of measuring the temperature on the earth surface which they argued is more accurate, using a remotely radiometric land surface temperatures (LST). Since air is a poor heat conductor, LST in midsummer can be 30º–40ºC higher than the air temperature. That’s why the air in the beach is more bearable than standing barefooted on the beach sand.
According to the same report, these were recorded:
- In 2003, the hottest LST detected on the Earth’s surface was 69.3°C, in Queensland, Australia
- In 2004, the hottest spot on the Earth’s surface was 68.0°C, in the Lut desert of Iran’s Kerman Province (even bacteria can’t surive the heat!). In 2005, the Lut desert reached 70.7°C
Figure 1 shows the average of the hottest annual maximum LST. Looks like Malaysia is still in the green region despite the heat that we are enduring this last few days. Not so bad, is it?
Let’s have a break?
Day: Every Wednesday (starting 6th April 2011)
Time: 10:10 -10:40am (official time but you can come/leave as you wish in between)
What to do?: Bring your own cup of coffee/tea
Mildrexler, D.J., Zhao, M., and Running, S.W. (2006, October 26). Where are the hottest spots on Earth? EOS, 87 (43), 461-467.