A GLOBAL warming Armageddon in which the oceans boil dry could theoretically happen on Earth, researchers claim.

But human activity on its own will probably not trigger such an end-of-the-world scenario in the near future.

Previously it was thought more solar energy was needed for global warming to truly spin out of control.

But new calculations from Canadian and US scientists show catastrophic warming could occur more easily than was thought on a planet getting the level of solar radiation Earth does.

The team wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience: "A renewed modelling effort is needed, addressing both Earth and planetary science applications."

Our closes neighbour Venus is believed to have had a runaway greenhouse effect. Shrouded in carbon dioxide atmosphere, its surface temperature is 460˚C – hot enough to melt lead.

The new study did not take into account the effect of clouds. But it still suggests that under certain atmospheric conditions a stable Earth could switch to a runaway greenhouse state.