• Question: How does climate change affect Scotland?

    Asked by I_Am_Ginger on 13 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Jonathan Allen

      Jonathan Allen answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      I think the biggest way climate change is affecting Scotland is the increased unstable weather that it is experiencing with the storms and torrential rain. Other risks that could happen in the future would be the rising sea levels (if the ice caps continue to melt) that would lead to flooding and coastal erosion. There could also even be heatwaves in the summer!

      Scotland is also being affected by changes in how we generate electricity to fight against climate change – with less North Sea drilling for oil and gas as we move away from that and more onshore and offshore wind farms being installed. There are no plans for nuclear power in Scotland in the future (which is the area I work in) so the electricity supply will need to come from more and more renewables – which is great but also a big gap to fill.

    • Photo: Octavia Brayley

      Octavia Brayley answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      I can’t answer this very well as it’s not my area of research, but I found some interesting videos on YouTube:

    • Photo: Ian McKinley

      Ian McKinley answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      Although the points noted by others are important, it should be realised that, as yet, impacts on Scotland have been relatively small. In Switzerland, where I live, the impacts are more visible – mainly in terms of melting glaciers.
      In other countries, impacts are already much greater – with the droughts, flooding, wildfires, etc. seen on the news. Many people have died already and very many more will die in the future.
      If the threats continue to be ignored, even Scotland will suffer a lot more – with low-lying areas being flooded and either much warmer conditions or, if the Gulf Stream stops, much colder winters.

    • Photo: Shanine Smith

      Shanine Smith answered on 13 Nov 2023:

      As well as changes to weather and the impact this has on land and people, it ultimately will have an impact on our economy. In Scotland we use a lot of land for crops and climate change will cause more dry weather but also floods meaning food supplies could be affected. This puts a strain on food security but also effects our countries income as lot of what we produce is exported. This means the cost of food will continue to rise.

    • Photo: Paula McMahon

      Paula McMahon answered on 14 Nov 2023:

      the same as everywhere – more extreme weather locally and global problems which affects things like food production

      See https://engineeringtogether.com/primary-voices/

    • Photo: Andrew Lyon

      Andrew Lyon answered on 15 Nov 2023:

      It will affect Scotland in similar ways to other countries so we’re tending to see wetter winters, heavier rain and more extreme weather events. As sea levels increase there may be more coastal erosion and flooding of low lying land.

      However, there are lots of scientists who are working to reduce the impact of climate change and looking at possible solutions. It’s great that you’re asking these sort of questions and thinking about the effects of climate change, there are lots of opportunities to get involved and make a difference!