The world has hit its highest low temperature ever
Yesterday, we recorded the hottest day ever on earth. That is, for 24 hours, the daily minimum temperature—the coldest time of day—never went under 109 degrees Fahrenheit in Quriyat, a small coastal village in Oman, which sits between next to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Oman actually broke its own daily minimum record, which was 107 degrees in 2011.
Focusing on “daily minimum temperatures” represents a new way of framing extreme temperatures, which are made more likely as a result of climate change. The World Meteorological Organization has not historically verified daily minimum records, probably because it’s not something anyone ever thought they would have to think about, but climate change visits new horrors upon us each day. That’s not to say that the measurement wasn’t credible. It was reported by Weather Underground, a subsidiary of the Weather Channel, which is the largest privatized weather organization in the world.
With a constant stream of reports asserting that the previous month was the “hottest month on record,” it can be hard for most people to have a firm grasp on when something is really strange and important. The reality is that is all anomalous and important, but who has the emotional energy to be able to process that every month? Focusing on daily minimum temperatures isn’t a one-stop solution to effective climate communication, but it represents a pressing need to think about the climate differently.