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BBC Scotland's Louise Batchelor
"It might be hard to believe, but Scotland is getting warmer"
 real 28k

Friday, 3 December, 1999, 21:27 GMT
Grim forecast for Scotland
Flooded house The risk of flooding in Scotland will increase

And finally, Scotland's weather in the next century: it will be warmer, sea levels will rise, there will be more very severe gales, a greater risk of flooding and less snow during the winter.

That is how a BBC weather forecast may well sound if the first study to consider the overall impact of climate change on Scotland proves accurate.

The report was unveiled by Scotland's Environment Minister Saray Boyack at a renewable energy conference in Edinburgh, as snow and flooding caused serious problems in parts of Scotland.

It warns that Scotland may lose some bird species such as the ptarmigan and snow bunting. North Sea and North Atlantic fisheries, along with freshwater salmon and sea trout, could also be affected by changing ocean circulation.

Greenhouse gas measures

Ms Boyack said: "This study will inform national and local policy for tackling the problems caused by climate change.

"It will contribute to our understanding of the implications of climate change in Scotland and help us to identify measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack: "Committed to full contribution"
A draft programme for action will be launched early next year followed by a consultation process.

"Under the International Kyoto Protocol and European Union agreements, by 2008-2012 the UK must reduce its 1990 baseline emission of six greenhouse gases by 12.5%, and Scotland is committed to making a full contribution," added Ms Boyack.

The research was conducted between November 1998 and July 1999 by a research team led by Dr Andrew Kerr of The Centre for The Study of Environmental Change and Sustainability University of Edinburgh

Ocean circulation

It flags up the possibility of a climate "surprise" as a consequence of the collapse of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic leading to north-west Europe experiencing much colder winters.

Climate change impacts present an important business risk to the transport sector, it warns, because of the higher risk of flooding and storms.

Snowy Cairngorms Less snow will lie, the report says
The secondary effects of climate change may result in increased air pollution and a higher incidence of respiratory diseases associated with damp.

Food poisoning and insect-borne diseases may also increase. However, positive impacts from warmer temperatures may include a reduction in cold-related deaths.

The options for reducing emissions from the energy supply sector depend on the changing mix of fuel used in generation, regulation of emissions from and efficiencies of power stations, and further development of energy services for customers.

Increasing forest cover in Scotland could help meet reduction targets

In the agricultural sector, more diverse and valuable crops may be grown in future as a result of climate change.

The progress of climate change is a controversial issue. Not all scientists accept that rapid warming in the next century is inevitable, and even if it is, they argue that the precise effects on the UK are impossible to predict.

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See also:
03 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Rain, snow trap Scottish drivers
24 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
Ocean drift disruption may chill Europe
19 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
Scientists join forces to study Arctic ozone
23 Nov 99 |  Scotland
Ministers drop Atlantic oil fight

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