Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Bleak first results from the world’s largest climate change experiment


Greenhouse gases could cause global temperatures to rise by more than double the maximum warming so far considered likely by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to results from the world’s largest climate prediction experiment, published in the journal Nature this week.

The first results from, a global experiment using computing time donated by the general public, show that average temperatures could eventually rise by up to 11°C - even if carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are limited to twice those found before the industrial revolution. Such levels are expected to be reached around the middle of this century unless deep cuts are made in greenhouse gas emissions.

Chief scientist for, David Stainforth, from Oxford University said: “Our experiment shows that increased levels of greenhouse gases could have a much greater impact on climate than previously thought.” project coordinator, Dr. David Frame, said: “the possibility of such high responses to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has profound implications. If the real world response were anywhere near the upper end of our range, even today’s levels of greenhouse gases could already be dangerously high.”

The project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, is ongoing and involves more than 95,000 people from 150 countries. Schools, businesses and individuals across the globe can download the free software which incorporates the Met Office’s climate model and runs in the background when their computers lie idle.

The programme runs through a climate scenario over the course of a few days or weeks, before automatically reporting results back to climate researchers at Oxford University and collaborating institutions worldwide, via the Internet.

Participants have simulated over four million model years and donated over 8,000 years of computing time, making easily the world’s largest climate modelling experiment, comfortably exceeding the processing capacity of the world’s largest supercomputers. This allows the project to explore a wide range of uncertainties, picking up previously unidentified high-impact possibilities.

“Using the technique of distributed computing and the generous support of many thousands of individuals we have been able to carry out an experiment which would otherwise have been impossible,” explained Dr. Andrew Martin of the Oxford e-Science Centre.

Scientists at Oxford are urging more people to become involved. Mr. Stainforth said, “Having found that these extreme responses are a realistic possibility, we need people’s support more than ever to pin down the risk of such strong warming and understand its regional impacts.” “This ongoing project allows anyone to participate in science that affects us all,” he added.

Professor Bob Spicer of the Open University, has developed extensive web-based educational materials around the project. He said, “Schools can run the software and build the experiment into science, geography and maths lessons with help from our new teaching materials. And everyone can take part in the lively debates on our Internet discussion forum that has attracted more than 5,000 people.”

In May the Open University will start a distance-learning course based on the project. Anyone can register and learn even more about simulating and predicting climate change.

Marion O’Sullivan | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>