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What is 2 degrees?


What do those crazy scientists mean when they talk about a global temperature rise of 2 degrees? I’m glad you asked!

I really don’t think people understand this at all. People who deny climate change is occurring really don’t understand it. Or they do, but they are deliberately playing it down. Which would make them as evil as those who behead people, because these people are condemning billions to a nasty death and they really do not care.

In the last century, the global average temperature was 14 degrees centigrade. This included the temperature in the coldest place on earth in Antarctica at a balmy -89.4 degrees centigrade and the hottest place on the Earth (Death Valley) at 56.7 degrees centigrade.

Here is the thing. Both these temperatures, like the temperatures in more populated places are no where near that average global temperatures. Sydney for example has as average MINIMUM of 14 degrees celsius and a average maximum of 22 degrees. A 2 degree rise in global temperatures does not mean Sydney will now be 16 – 24 degrees either. A rise in global temperatures from 14 degrees to 16 degrees means something much much more dangerous than that.

2 degrees means a 15% rise in temperatures. This is because 10% of 14 is 1.4 degrees. So 2 degrees is rather huge 15%. A 3 degree rise means 20% rise in temperatures and a 6 degrees temperature rise is over 40% rise in temperatures.

Antarctica cold -89.4 degrees celsius is 104 degrees away from that global average of 14. A 15% change in temperature here due to that global 2 degrees rise means the coldest place on the planet will be 15 -18 degrees warmer than that low.

And for Death Valley, which is 42 degrees higher than the average will rise by 15% of 42, or 6 degrees.

For those who live in Sydney, minimums may be a little warmer (average minimum already at global average), but maximums will rise by 15% of 8 degrees. But for somewhere like Darwin whose average yearly temperature is currently at 33 degrees max and 30 degree minimum. So they will be looking at 15% of nearly 20 degrees (difference between global temp of 14 degrees and their averages of low 30s). Thats around 3% rise on average. So Darwin’s winter average will be what Darwin’s summer average is now. And Darwin’s summer will move from the low 30’s to the high 30’s

A 2 degrees rise in global temperature is a 15-20% rise in temperatures. Thats why its a problem. Humans are big enough and smart enough to be able to change the temperature in a room. They can wear a jumper if too cool or turn on air conditioning if too hot. Other life does not have this luxury. A 2 degree change for city dwellers means a 15-20 degree change for a polar bear. Or a 15-20 degree change in the temperature of water. Antarctic krill for example moult (shed their exoskeleton over a 9 – 28 day period when the temperature is just right for them to do so. Those poor buggers are gonna have to change their plans now. And since krill forms the food of about all sea life, there is going to be a lot of upset fish. And the effect on the economy in regards to fish and chip shops would be devastating. Andrew Bolt may not care about temperatures rising, but threaten his Friday Fish meal and he may start to see the light.

When you tell people the temperature will rise by 2 degrees, they look at you with a glazed let me get some suntan lotion look. They don’t get what that means. But you tell them that the temperatures will change by 20%, then maybe, just maybe, they start to see the danger zone.

A. Ghebranious September 2014

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