The world is getting hotter, and drier in some places. It is still very cold in others. Recently, the temperature in Death Valley, sometimes known as the hottest place on earth, reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Parts of Antarctica routinely have temperatures 50 degrees below zero. In other parts of the world, floods kill hundreds of people. In some places, it barely rains, even over the course of a decade.
What makes a place uninhabitable? No food. No relief from deadly heat. Cold that can damage the skin in minutes. We set out to find the answer. While any answer has to be somewhat subjective, there are areas of the world so hostile to humans that people can just barely live in them at all. We looked at one where temperatures can be fatal.
Using data from the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN), 24/7 Wall St. has identified the hottest inhabited place on earth. Places we examine were ranked based on the average year-round temperature. Only places that are currently inhabited were included.
The cities we looked at to find the hottest span the Middle East, Africa and South America. Several of these areas have had at least one month in the past 10 years where the average temperature was above 100 degrees.
To determine the hottest inhabited place on Earth, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed average temperature data from the GHCN (Version 4) of the National Centers for Environmental Information of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Weather stations were ranked based on the average year-round temperature from 2011 to 2020. Only places with at least five years of data were considered. Data used to determine the hottest month also came from the GHCN and are for the years 2011 to 2020.
The hottest inhabited place on earth is Abéché, Chad. Here are the details:
- Average year-round temperature: 90.0° F
- Hottest average month: May (99.3° F average)
- Hottest month in past decade: May 2020 (100.7° F average)
- Elevation at nearest weather station: 1,801 feet