• What would be the characteristics required to make one region as hot as possible?
  • How hot can it get; Can it be hotter than Dallol?

Setting: an earth-like planet with all the same characteristics than Earth except that the geography and everything affected by it could be different for the purpose of the question.

I'm asking the question with the because I'm more interested in long term temperatures based on monthly average than a daily record. That would be more like . I'm looking for a very high average monthly or yearly temperature.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm looking for more supporting evidence, but I believe that if you had the same conditions of dryness and lack of circulation, but an even lower elevation (Dead Sea or lower) then the temperature would be higher... I know that desert is already below sea level. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Apr 28 '15 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Add some lava and it gets a lot hotter than that. $\endgroup$ – Oldcat Apr 28 '15 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ How Earth like? Can we play with it's rotational characteristics? $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Apr 29 '15 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim2B maybe, the answer could be interesting as long as the planet would still be habitable. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 29 '15 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ Active volcano crater. Definitely active volcano crater. $\endgroup$ – Emilio M Bumachar Feb 8 '18 at 10:38

Death Valley is another good example to look at here and the characteristics seem to align with Dallol.

1 - Low elevation, preferably below sea level.

2 - Surrounded by mountains or in a valley. This cuts off wind patterns to prevent night time cooling and isolates it from bodies of water and humidity (death valley has moisture blocked by Sierra Nevada mountains)

3 - low water/humidity. Water takes a lot of energy to warm up and evaporate, no water means less energy needed to raise the temperatures.

4 - Salt! This might be a coincidence due to elevation, but these locations tend to be salt heavy. Makes them particularly pretty destinations to see and gives a reason for people to actually venture there (Death Valley 'Borax' was the reason people ventured there)...though this was in the 1960's...modern day really only has people there as tourists to see it as the need for the minerals can be satisfied in less drastic locations

Reading online, it's really the low low elevation (inland desert below sea level) that really defines the temperatures seen in these locations

  • $\begingroup$ +1 but consider adding place of such area on the globe. The place itself should get enough sunlight $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek Apr 29 '15 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ And do you know how hot it could be ? $\endgroup$ – Vincent Apr 29 '15 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Vincent - There is a Libyan claim to the hottest temp being around 136F, however this has been scrutinized and likely false. Death Valley has hit 134F (58-59C?) and has maintained 129F+ for 5 consecutive days. You could probably tailor the scenario with a little further below sea level and darker earth (absorbs more light) and see 140-145F or about 62C as a max temp and manage to hit a week long sustained 130F+, but thats a bit more extreme than what our current globe provides. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Apr 29 '15 at 16:28

During a Messinian event (when the Mediterranean Sea dried out) the daytime temperature at the deepest parts of the plain is believed to reach 80 C (176 F). Creating a comparable depression deeper into the continent one may expect even higher temperatures.


If your planet rotation axis (north pole - south pole) is directed to the star then at that pole time would always be noon. I would expect this place to be super hot, specially if combined with the other characteristics already mentioned.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This seems to be what Jim2B was asking whether we could do in his comment on the question, to which we have yet to receive a response. By the time you reorient the rotational axis to that degree, a lot of things start to change, so it's clearly debatable whether at that point the planet is "Earth-like". $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 29 '15 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ Exactly my idea. You have to be careful with this though, if the atmosphere doesn't have enough capacity to move the heat, it (or your working fluid) freezes out over the far side of the planet. The atmosphere works like a giant heat pipe and these can "stall" when heated too high for the working fluid (likely water). You likely need a heavy atmosphere and lots of ocean on the dark side to make it work. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Apr 29 '15 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ In such a world (if it can be made inhabitable), the hot side would be far to hot for humans to live. You might be able to get it as hot as approaching 100 C but probably not over that or the whole planet becomes uninhabitable. $\endgroup$ – Jim2B Apr 29 '15 at 19:41

What do you mean by a "region"? I think it's safe to say that the Siberian Traps were pretty hot for the million years or so that they were erupting. And in general, volcanic or geothermal activity is a better way to get a very hot region than climatology.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you not have any question worth asking? $\endgroup$ – Muze Sep 19 '18 at 1:27

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