Most Americans hear temperature degrees and automatically think Fahrenheit, while almost everyone else in the world thinks in terms of degrees Celsius. And so our minds may conjure up something different when we ponder the 2 degrees that the Paris agreement named as an upper limit for global warming, or the 1.5 degrees now deemed dangerous.

Weather stories in the United States use Fahrenheit, but climate stories switch back and forth between Celsius and Fahrenheit — so no wonder if Americans are confused. The smaller degrees of Fahrenheit may cause Americans to underestimate the magnitude of global warming that's already happened, and what's being projected for the near future.

In this global era, why would any nation continue to use a quaint temperature scale that's out of step with everyone else, and, worse still, out of step with the scientific community? Surely there must be some upside to it.