I'm trying to help a general audience understand some important climate numbers, starting with the fact that we're about 1.14°C warmer than pre-industrial. Is it helpful context or misleading oversimplification to say:

Global mean temperature at the peak of the last ice age was 4°C or 5°C cooler than pre-industrial, so we are about a quarter of the way toward a world that could be as different, but in the warmer direction, as when most of North America was glaciated.

where 4°C is via https://climatefeedback.org/explainer-how-the-rise-and-fall-of-co2-levels-influenced-the-ice-ages/,
4°C or maybe 5°C is via p42 at https://open.oregonstate.education/climatechange/open/download?type=pdf, and
1.14°C is via page 4 of https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=11593

  • $\begingroup$ I always use the fact that at 4 degrees cooler than preindustrial, where New York city is now, was underneath a gigantic ice sheet, aka a glacier. So for a rough comparison the climate difference between Greenland and present day New York is 4 degrees globally. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ Not very sciency, but how about the news? The earth system is neither deterministic, nor linear in its reaction to changes. But since climate change manifests itself all over the place, there's enough material for demonstration and understanding. Humans are visual animals. Assuming a general audience, that is. But I guess we all know that one can't convince a strong believer, no matter what. $\endgroup$
    – user29219
    Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 7:01


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