We all focus on globally and seasonally averaged mean temperature, and though it is a very coarse measure, there are some justifiable reasons. But as a general focus for those concerned about the human influence on our planetary life support system, is it right?
Michael Tobis has a great essay on why it really isn’t. If the sentence above doesn’t quite get the point across, from the same paragraph:
It takes a hell of a kick to move global temperature as much as we are moving it, and the climate system is responding directly to the kick, not to the temperature change.
“Global Warming” is just one abstract and muted feature of anthropogenic climate change and in and of itself, is relatively benign. As Michael tries to point out, the real drama will be in all those 13s, not in the gradual slip from the average roll of seven to the average of 8.