Global Warming 'Twice as Bad as Feared'

Shared computing project involving 90,000 people in 140 countries used to model global warming trends, concluding that the temperature rise could be much higher than originally predicted by by earlier models.

Published: 27-Jan-2005

GLOBAL warming may be twice as bad as expected, according to a new assessment of a commonly-used yardstick of possible carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution.

Until now, most computer models of climate change predict that if atmospheric levels of CO2 reach double of the pre-industrial age, the Earth's surface temperature will be between two and five degrees Celsius warmer than when compared with 1990 levels.

But a study published today in the British science journal Nature suggests that the temperature rise could be much higher - of between nearly two and more than 11 degrees Celsius.

The research comes from a highly ambitious project in "shared computing", in which more than 90,000 people in more than 140 countries downloaded a special program to crunch through data on their personal computer.

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