THE Sunday Herald can today reveal the true extent of the threat posed to Scotland by climate change. Major parts of Scotland’s vital infrastructure are under threat from coastal erosion and flooding, according to the latest government assessments of the dangers of climate change. Thousands of homes and businesses and long stretches of roads and railway lines are also at risk. So are power stations, wind farms, sewers, bridges, and farmland, as well as many other crucial facilities and even golf courses. Seabirds, fish and plants are endangered, as well as butterflies, food crops and peat bogs. Scotland can expect more rain, more droughts, more storms, more wild fires, more landslides, more pests and more diseases – and snow is disappearing from the mountains. As evidence mounts of the multiple risks climate change poses to people and wildlife, 2017 is predicted to be another record hot year. And one of Scotland’s leading climate experts is warning that the world is facing the catastrophe of “runaway” climate change because of the impact of pollution and the damage it is doing to nature. A study for the Scottish Government warned that the rate of coastal erosion around Scotland has doubled since the 1970s. Researchers identified 30,000 buildings, 1,300 kilometres of roads and 100 kilometres of railway lines “close to potentially erodible coasts”. The report predicted that mean summertime temperatures in Scotland would rise by up to 4.5 degrees centigrade by the 2050s, while winter rain could increase by up to 30 per cent. The sea level around Edinburgh is expected to rise by between 20 and 40 centimetres by 2090.
Herald 27th Aug 2017 read more »