Results from the BBC climate change experiment

March 2012

The first results from the BBC climate change experiment have been published in Nature Geoscience. The experiment was the first multi-thousand member ensemble of climate simulations using a complex climate model, and answers some of the uncertainties that previous forecasts over-looked. Results suggest that global warming of 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 is as equally likely as a rise of 1.4 degrees (relative to the 1961 to 1990 average). Simulations that matched observed temperature changes over the last 50 years were used to produce the figures.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rate, results suggest that the world is very likely to cross the ‘2 degrees barrier’ at some point this century, and that those planning for the impacts of climate change need to consider the possibility of warming of up to 3 degrees (above the 1961 to 1990 average) by 2050, even on a mid-range emission scenario. This is a faster rate of warming than most other models predict.

We would like to thank all the participants involved in the BBC climate change experiment for their continued support to the project!

The results were reported across the media:

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