Even moderate emissions could warm the Earth by as much as 3C by 2050, leaders of a huge climate simulation project have warned.
Scientists who harnessed the power of thousands of volunteers’ home computers forecast a faster rate of warming than has been predicted before.
The models showed that average world temperatures are on course to rise by between 1.4C and 3C given mid-range greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the findings, the world is very likely to cross the critical “two degrees barrier” at some point this century if emissions continue unabated.
Experts believe warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels could trigger runaway climate change that cannot be reversed.
Almost 10,000 climate simulations were run using volunteers’ home computers. The project, climateprediction.net, was part of the BBC Climate Change Experiment.