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Heat waves rise near a heat danger warning sign on the eve of the AdventurCORPS Badwater 135 ultra-marathon race on July 14, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California.
One hundred years ago this month, Death Valley was the hottest place on Earth, 134 degrees. The temperature has never been topped but some climate experts doubt it was actually reached.
For the Fronteras Desk, KPBS science and technology reporter David Wagner has the story.