By RTCC Staff
Global temperatures could rise as much as 3Â°C by 2050, according to the researchers of a huge simulation project.
The project, which ran almost 10,000 climate simulations on volunteersâ€™ computers, warns that even with moderate emissions the world could cross the critical 2Â°C barrier at some point this century with unabated emissions.
It estimates the world could see warming of between 1.4Â°C and 3Â°C above levels at the end of the last century.
This shows a potential for a faster rate of warming than has been previously predicted.
The study, published in Nature Geosciences was run through the BBC Climate Change Experiment, climateprediction.net and aimed to explore a wide range of possible futures and get a handle on the uncertainties of the climate system.
The low end of their range is similar to the predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2007 report.
The high end, however, is somewhat above the range in their analysis.
Experts warn that 2Â°C warming above pre-industrial levels could trigger runaway climate change.
What would a 3Â°C rise mean?
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006,Â predicts that a rise of 3Â°C would mean 550 million more people would be at risk of hunger, 170 million could suffer coastal flooding and nearly half the world’s species could face extinction.