Friday, January 19, 2007

UK Climate Change Prediction: 250,000 PCs Can't be Wrong

The BBC and Oxford University with the help of 250,000 individuals running climate change simulations on their own PCs have come up with a climate change prediction for the UK.

Your PCs forecast climate future
The results suggest the UK could be about 3C warmer than now in 75 years' time, agreeing with other models.

Full details will be revealed at the weekend in a BBC TV programme presented by Sir David Attenborough.

For 2020, the prediction is that temperatures in Britain will be about 1.2C warmer than in the 1970s, chosen as the baseline for this project.

Temperatures are already almost 1C warmer than in the 1970s, so the rise over the next decade or so will be small if the model is right.

In 2050, they will be about 2.5C higher than the 1970s; while by 2080, the figure could be 4C.

The predictions are not exact; and the further from the present day you look, the greater variability there is, so that by 2080 the rise could be as low as 2C or as high as 6C.

Along with higher temperatures the model predicts greater variability in rainfall, with increased risks of floods and of long dry periods.

"These figures basically support the scientific consensus at the moment," observed Dr Faull.

Obviously the results all depend on the calibration of the model that was developed by the Hadley Centre. It will be interesting to compare the results with the up and coming IPCC predictions in early February.

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