What Can We Do About Climate Change?
First UK findings of the world’s largest climate prediction experiment reported in BBC One and The Open University’s Climate Change – Britain Under Threat.
British scientists running the world’s most ambitious climate prediction experiment have confirmed many fears of what climate change will mean for the UK in the coming years – sweltering heat-waves, widespread flooding and storm surges.
The documentary highlights threats from climate change, of floods, storm-surges and heat-waves, but there may also be a few opportunities: olive groves in Devon and the chance of Blackpool topping the league of European beach resorts.
Project co-ordinator Dr. Nick Faull of Oxford University describes the results: “People need to understand this is not a worst-case scenario: this is what we are increasingly confident will happen in the absence of substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.“
Professor Bob Spicer, Professor of Earth Sciences at The Open University and chief academic for the programme said: “By using the computers of many tens of thousands of people around the world, all of whom will be affected by climate change in some way or another, we have created the largest “virtual” supercomputer dedicated to climate change that the world has ever seen. We have been able to do calculations that even on a normal supercomputer would have taken decades to complete.”
Using the climate prediction results viewers will see snapshots of the future of Britain in 2020, 2050 and 2080 as Sir David guides us through 21st century Britain.
Sir David is joined in the BBC/Open University co-production by Kate Humble and Matt Allwright to investigate how climate change will affect our country and learn how it will affect where people choose to live, the cars they choose to drive and the natural world they treasure.
Over 200,000 users downloaded the software from the BBC website. It was developed with the BBC by the climateprediction.net project and based on the Met Office climate model. Over 50,000 have already run the model long enough for their results to be scientifically useful. The experiment, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Microsoft Corporation, will continue and results will be fed into future scientific papers.
More detail on the results of the experiment is available from the BBC website: bbc.co.uk/climatechange. This includes a map showing all the people who took part, including people in Bhutan, Greenland and Siberia. On the site you can also see the world view, showing temperature change across the globe up to 2080. Further detail on the UK results includes graphs and UK maps showing regional differences. Viewers can watch video from the BBC One programme on the website after Sunday 21st.
The Open University has also produced a free guide to Climate Change.
The guide is free of charge and can be ordered direct from the OU by calling 0870 942 1342 or through open2.net/climatechange
The Open University offers a number of related courses for viewers who have been inspired to learn more about issues explored during these programmes. The courses range from short ‘tasters’ through to more in-depth study in environmental science.
It will broadcast at 8.00pm on Sunday 21st January 2007.
The Open University and BBC have been in partnership for more than 30 years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak time programmes with a broad appeal to encourage wider participation in learning.
All broadcast information is correct at time of issue.