World could see 3 degree warming by 2050
Last updated on 26 March 2012, 4:11 pm
By RTCC Staff
Global temperatures could rise as much as 3°C by 2050, according to the researchers of a huge simulation project.
The project, which ran almost 10,000 climate simulations on volunteers’ computers, warns that even with moderate emissions the world could cross the critical 2°C barrier at some point this century with unabated emissions.
It estimates the world could see warming of between 1.4°C and 3°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 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels could trigger runaway climate change.
What would a 3°C rise mean?
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, predicts that a rise of 3°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.