Death Valley is now the undisputed heavyweight of hot.
And all it took was an international panel of weather experts and a little revisionist climate history.
The World Meteorological Organization announced Thursday that the panel has disqualified the previous all-time planetary high temperature of 136 degrees recorded at El Azizia in present-day Libya in 1922.
As a result, a 134-degree reading posted in Death Valley, Calif., on July 10, 1913, now stands as the highest temperature ever recorded.
"It's a point of pride," said Charlie Callagan, a ranger and naturalist for the national park 100 miles west of Las Vegas. "Instead of the hottest spot in North America, we can now call ourselves the hottest spot on the planet.
"We're updating our website."
The World Meteorological Organization is recognized globally as the official keeper and verifier of climate extremes - sort of the Guinness Book of weather.
Callagan said the organization usually deals with current observations and extremes, but in this case the group delved into the past to settle lingering doubts about the Libyan record.
Their in-depth investigation stretched more than a year and was interrupted by the revolution in Libya.
In the end, the experts concluded that the 1922 observation was likely made by a new and inexperienced observer using unsuitable and poorly placed equipment, resulting in a reading roughly 12 degrees too high.
The World Meteorological Organization unveiled the change to the record books 90 years to the day of the previous all-time high.
The news came as no surprise to Phil Dickinson, director of sales and marketing for Furnace Creek Resort in the heart of Death Valley.
"After this summer, I wouldn't have any trouble believing that," he said.
As recently as last week, the park was posting highs above 115. The hottest day of the year was July 11, when the mercury hit 128.
Dickinson sees the park's new record status as more of a curiosity than a selling point. The area's hot weather is "definitely of interest to people, but I doubt very seriously that it draws them here," he said.
Callagan is not so sure.
Death Valley was already known as the hottest, lowest and driest place in North America. He thinks the record just might attract even more people looking for a little extreme tourism.
With that in mind, he said, the park might decide to hold an event next July 10 to mark the 100th anniversary of the all-time high.
He said park officials were tipped off several months ago about the possible change to the record books, but they were sworn to secrecy. Luckily, the advanced warning came in time for the information to be added to new - and costly - museum exhibits set to be unveiled at the park's renovated visitor center in a few weeks, Callagan said.
The hottest day ever came during a seven-day run of terrible heat in July 1913 at what is now Furnace Creek Ranch. The temperature reached 127 degrees every day and topped 130 three times.
Ranch caretaker and weather observer Oscar Denton reportedly had this to say about that record-setting day: "It was so hot that swallows in full flight fell to the earth dead. When I went out to read the thermometer with a wet Turkish towel on my head, it was dry before I returned."
The temperature hasn't surpassed 130 since that summer 99 years ago, but it has hit 129 four times. When it happened in July 17, 1998, Callagan was the one who had to go out and record it.
Heat like that makes your ears sting the minute you step out into it, he said. "It hits you like a hammer."
But if you take the proper precautions - drink lots of fluids, stay on paved roads, don't let your GPS unit direct you into danger - you too can safely visit the hottest place on Earth, he said.
You might even wind up with reason to brag.
"We had T-shirts made up and everything," Callagan said of his brush with an almost-all-time high. " 'I survived 129.' "
Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal .com or 702-383-0350.