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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 07:40 GMT 08:40 UK
Climate change will 'cause chaos'
Van blown over in Glencoe
WWF Scotland warned Scotland could see more storms
Climate change will cause chaos in the seas and coastal communities around Scotland, according to a new report.

The conservation charity WWF said environmental changes would lead to more storms on the west coast and disruption to the food chain.

The report suggested major changes were on the way, with oceans becoming more acidic, plankton shifting and storm-driven floods more frequent.

WWF said the changes would affect fish, sea birds, dolphins and porpoises.

The report found the rise in frequency of major storm surges could wreak havoc on west coast communities, similar to storms which hit the Western Isles in January.

Storms, as well as sea level rise, are going to be the serious problem for coastal communities
Richard Dixon
WWF Scotland

It said a rise in sea temperature, which has already increased about a degree in surface temperature, was also likely to disrupt the breeding, feeding and growing cycles of fish and sea birds.

Dolphins and porpoises were identified as being under threat from chemical pollution and a reduced food supply.

WWF Scotland's director Richard Dixon said reducing carbon dioxide emissions was the only way to prevent climate chaos and called on Scottish ministers to take action.

The report said dolphins are under threat from a reduced food supply

He told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "Climate change isn't just about the temperature going up, it's about the whole thing becoming much more unpredictable.

"That means we'll find it much harder to get on in the ways that we have, we'll certainly find it much harder to have regular fish stocks, we'll find it harder for the sea birds, which will have a knock on effect for wildlife tourism.

"Storms, as well as sea level rise, are going to be the serious problem for coastal communities and not just in the west and the islands."

He said there were about 90,000 homes close to sea level around the coast which the government has identified as at risk, including areas along the Clyde, Forth and Tay.

Green Party environment spokesman Mark Ruskell accused ministers of burying their heads in the sand.

He said: "In particular, their obsession with building more major roads and boosting GDP at any cost means that ultimately they are failing to protect Scottish communities, homes, businesses and the environment from the devastating impacts of climate change."

WWF Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon

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