Global temperatures could rise by 1.4-3 degrees centigrade above levels for late last century by 2050, a computer simulation has suggested.
For the study, almost 10,000 climate simulations were run on volunteers’ home computers, the BBC reported.
The projections were somewhat higher than those from other models.
In the study, the researchers aimed to explore a wider range of possible futures, which they say helps “get a handle” on the uncertainties of the climate system.
According to the researchers, people planning for the impacts of climate change need to consider the possibility of warming of up to 3°C by 2050, even on a mid-range emission scenario.
The study, run through climateprediction.net with the BBC Climate Change Experiment, ran simulations using a complex atmosphere-ocean climate model.
The representations of physical parameters were varied between runs of the model, reflecting uncertainties about precisely how the climate system works.
Additionally, the forecast range was derived from models that accurately reproduced observed temperature changes over the last 50 years.
The low end of their range is similar to that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 2007 report, but the high end is somewhat above the range their analysis produced.
Myles Allen, the principal investigator of the study from Oxford University said other climate modelling groups’ data did not “set out to explore the full range of uncertainty, which is why studies like ours are needed".
Action that helps cope with the effects of climate change — for example construction of barriers to protect against rising sea levels, or conversion to crops capable of surviving high temperatures and drought.
Gabi Hegerl from the University of Edinburgh described the research as “an important step toward estimating uncertainty more comprehensively".
The study has been published in Nature Geoscience.