Temperatures could rise by 4°c by 2060, according to a new study from British scientists being unveiled at Oxford University today.

Richard Betts, from the Met Office Hadley Centre is introducing the report, which claims the threat to the planet caused by climate change is imminent.

Mr Betts said: “People will say it’s an extreme scenario — and it is an extreme scenario — but it’s also a plausible scenario.”

The research was carried out for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which warned a 4°c rise would have “serious consequences” for the global community, with food security, water availability and health all adversely affected.