In a tweet Monday morning, MSNBC reported that the earth’s climate is expected to rise a whopping 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wow, is the earth’s average temperature really expected to rise that much, the difference between snow and T-shirt weather? No, of course not; MSNBC just botched the conversion.
Presumably MSNBC’s social media staffer just googled ‘Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion,’ and Google will indeed tell you the temperature 2.7°C is the same as 36.86°F. But that’s because the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales don’t start at the same point: 0°C is the same as 32°F. So an increase in 2.7°C is only about a 5°F increase.
How important is that difference? Well, let’s put it this way; clicking on the link in the tweet reveals that the U.N. actually considers the report good news, since civilization itself might not survive even a 4°C increase. A 37°F increase is therefore five times greater than the doomsday scenario.
MSNBC of course deleted the tweet and replaced it. But it will always live forever on the Internet, alongside other MSNBC science fails:
[Image via screengrab]
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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.