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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 April 2007, 23:51 GMT 00:51 UK
Climate warning for Scots farmers
Global warming could mean longer growing seasons
Scottish farmers are being warned that a climate change is already well under way in Scotland and they will have to change the way they operate.

Research from the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) shows the temperature has increased by 1C over the past 40 years.

As a result, summers are expected to be warmer and drier and winters could also be warmer but wetter.

The data was collected at the SCRI's base in Invergowrie, Perthshire.

Professor Peter Gregory, director of the SCRI, said farmers would have to think about coping with floods in winter at the same time as coming up with methods of surviving periods of drought in the summer months.

Growers are going to have to use more resilient and adaptable crop genotypes with plenty of disease resistance
Professor Peter Gregory

He added: "Changes to temperature, rainfall and the length of growing seasons are projected to continue and gather pace.

"More extreme and variable weather, and changes in winter rain and snow fall, will mean big changes for the farming industry.

"Growers are going to have to use more resilient and adaptable crop genotypes with plenty of disease resistance."

Another senior scientist, Dr Adrian Newton, said that some spin-offs from climate change could be beneficial for farmers.

"Warmer average temperatures mean that there is a potential for longer growing seasons for both winter and spring sown crops," he said.

SCRI's research was revealed on the day the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its latest report on the impact of global warming.

The organisation is planning to undertake even more research on climate change in the months and years to come, backed by support from the Scottish Executive.

A scientist from the centre explains the findings

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