Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged.
The forecast made by the influential 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would have seen cities around the world submerged by water, now looks ‘unlikely’.
A Met Office study also rules out the shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean’s conveyor belt, which would trigger Arctic winters in Britain like those seen in the film The Day After Tomorrow.
However, the report says the IPCC was right to warn of a sea level rise of up to 2ft by 2100, and that a 3ft rise could happen.
The IPCC underestimated the danger posed by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the release of methane from warmer wetlands, the report adds.
Vicky Pope, head of climate science at the Met Office, said: ‘In most cases, our new understanding has reinforced results from the IPCC report – and the degree of impact is about the same.’
The 2007 analysis was criticised last year after it was found to have wrongly claimed Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.
The Met Office analysis comes as world ministers fly to Cancun, Mexico, for the second week of UN climate change talks.