Celsius to Fahrenheit interval conversionJune 5, 2007 at 8:47 am | Posted in 2°C, Celsius, Climate change, Conversion, Degrees, Fahrenheit, Scales, Temperatures | Leave a comment
Here is a handy temperature chart for Bush to refer to in Heiligendamm (Holy Dam). Degrees are not the same all the world round: the world uses Celsius for most temperature records. America, using Fahrenheit, is the odd one out here, just as we are with paper sizes. Ah, well.
We need no excuses for muddying the waters by degrees as G8 leaders discuss temperature targets, or upper limits, for global climate change. Intervals or differences in temperature, not absolute temperature measurements, are the object of concern at this point. For those of you who like absolutes, here’s a data point in Celsius:
The MetOffice forecast for 2007 shows the global temperature for 2007 is expected to be 0.54 °C above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C.
Now, when you watch a video like this one from NASA/GISS showing temperature anomalies, kids, the point of the animation is to illustrate how temperatures vary from normal—warmer or cooler—around the world. You can also see how polar regions are affected disproportionately as global average temperatures have risen rapidly:
Global average air and ocean temperatures are set to continue rising for years because of the lag between humans emitting greenhouse gases and the length of time those chemicals remain in our atmosphere to cause more warming. The question is whether we can get agreements in place (and actions enforced) to do all we can to limit such rises to 2°C—two degrees Celsius—as Merkel and millions of others desire. The animation makes its point even without degree scales. Negotiations, reports, and agreements, though, need to specify the degree scale explicitly. No excuses. Here’s that temperature conversion again in a format you can print:
As I mentioned, America is not quite alone in hanging on to the Fahrenheit scale: in Britain, our weathermen take pity on elderly people, kindly translating weather temperatures into Fahrenheit for seniors. (Perhaps the BBC and MetOffice have been doing this since the UK ‘went metric’ in the ’70s, just to allow older people to hold on to one vestige of the past when we joined the EU …?)
Wikipedia has this to say about these temperature scales:
Throughout the world, except in the U.S., the Celsius temperature scale is used for practically all purposes. The only exceptions are some specialist fields (e.g., low-temperature physics, astrophysics, light temperature in photography) where the closely related Kelvin scale dominates instead. Even in the U.S., almost the entire scientific world and most engineering fields, especially high-tech ones, use the Celsius scale. The general U.S. population, however, remains more accustomed to the Fahrenheit scale, which is therefore the only scale that most U.S. broadcasters use in weather forecasts. This has caused some confusion in the weather of Canada. When some Americans hear 32°, they think Fahrenheit, which leads to the assumption that Canada’s weather is freezing at best. The Fahrenheit scale is also commonly used in the U.S. for body temperatures. The United Kingdom has almost exclusively used the Celsius scale since the 1970s, with the notable exception that some broadcasters and publications still quote Fahrenheit air temperatures occasionally in weather forecasts, for the benefit of generations born before about 1950, and air-temperature thermometers sold still show both scales for the same reason.