Azarderakhsh, M; Prakash, S; Zhao, YX; AghaKouchak, A (2020). Satellite-Based Analysis of Extreme Land Surface Temperatures and Diurnal Variability Across the Hottest Place on Earth. IEEE GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, 17(12), 2025-2029.

Understanding land-atmosphere interactions in extremely hot environment offers insights on how such interactions will change in a warmer world. For this reason, scientists from a wide range of fields, including hydrology, meteorology, ecology and geology, have been interested in identifying the hottest places on Earth. A study back in 2006 based on the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) data identified the Lut Desert in Iran as the "thermal pole of the Earth." Since then, Lut Desert has been regarded as the hottest place on Earth with the record temperature of 70.7 degrees C observed in 2005. Using the latest MODIS-derived LST collection 6 which offers an improved LST estimates with a high spatial resolution (1 km), we investigate the hottest temperatures, as well as its diurnal variability in Lut Desert. The results show that Lut Desert is much hotter than previously thought with a record LST of 80.83 degrees C in 2018 (approximately 10 degrees C higher than previously reported LST) mainly due to improvements in the new LST estimations from space, and use of higher spatial resolution of the data. Further, our results show that Lut Desert has an incredible diurnal variability range, up to around 71 degrees C depending on the season.