FALSE: Temperature in Dubai reaches '63 degrees Celsius'
Claim: The temperature in Dubai reached 63 degrees Celsius, causing bushes and a palm tree to burn by themselves.
Facebook account Plumas Bolígrafos Mall del Sol posted a video on June 30 showing burning bushes along a highway and a burning palm tree in the middle of a street. According to its caption, the incidents were supposedly caused by the temperature in the area, which reached 63 degrees Celsius.
The Facebook account further claimed that 63 degrees Celsius is the highest temperature recorded on earth and that a forecast warned temperature in the area could reach 68 degrees Celsius in the middle of July.
Plumas Bolígrafos Mall del Sol captioned the video in Spanish: “En Dubái la semana pasada llego la temperatura a 63 grados centígrados. Es la temperatura mas alta registrada en la tierra. Los arboles se comienzan a quemar solos. Se pronostica q a mediados de julio podria llegar a 68 grados. Ya el cambio climático esta aqui.”
(In Dubai last week, the temperature reached 63 degrees Celsius. It's the highest temperature recorded on earth. The trees began to burn alone. It is forecast that in mid-July it could reach 68 degrees. Climate change is already here.)
The video has accumulated around 600 reactions, 150 comments, and 6,000 shares, as of writing.
Rappler spotted this claim as it was circulating on Facebook.
The facts: Temperature in Dubai has never reached 63 degrees Celsius and the official highest recorded temperature, according to the World Meteorological Organization, has been only 56.7 degrees Celsius.
This temperature was measured on July 10, 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, in the US. The Guinness World Records also recognizes this as the “highest recorded temperature” in the world.
The cause of the bushes burning in the video had yet to be established when it was reported on by various Arabian-language news websites such as barqnewskw.com and aljone.com. The incident happened in July 2017 and the highway shown in the video is actually in Kuwait.
Translated from Arabic to English, the reports said "fire teams put out a fire that broke out among a number of trees on the First Ring Road" near Martyr's Garden. The reports concluded that firefighters were currently working on the cause of the fire.
The burning palm tree shown in the second part of the video was actually due to a thunderbolt. The video was also taken at Sultana Street in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, according to a report by Arabian news website alweaam.com.
The Alweaam's report, published on August 1, 2017 and translated from Arabic to English, stated that after heavy rain along Sultana Street, a thunderbolt struck a palm tree. The fire had devoured the whole palm tree before its local firefighters came to the rescue.
The report included a video of the tree burning, as documented by a citizen from the area. The video in Alweaam's report was the same as the one posted by Facebook account Plumas Bolígrafos Mall del Sol.
The same burning bushes and palm tree were used in another viral false claim. On YouTube, the channel Oneindia News reported that Kuwait registered a temperature of 62 degrees Celsius.
According to the Kuwait Times, meteorologist Adel Al-Saadoun, head of Fintas Weather Observatory in Kuwait, dismissed the claim as "fake news." Al-Saadoun confirmed the country has only recorded a maximum of 52 degrees Celsius. Fact check websites such as Snopes and Factly also both debunked the claim.
Facebook account Plumas Bolígrafos Mall del Sol seems to be an account of a business establishment selling ballpoint pens in Ecuador. A Mall del Sol registers in Google as a shopping center in Guayaquil, Ecuador. – Addie Pobre/Rappler.com
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