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Impacts in Scotland

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges for Scotland's nature and landscapes.

The unprecedented rate of human-induced climate change threatens plants and animals that are unable to adapt quickly enough to its effects. This is happening now, and how we choose to respond will affect not only individual species and our distinctive landscapes, but also our lifestyles, our economy and our culture.

Climate change threatens the species and spaces that make Scotland distinctive; from the snow bunting, whose habitat is receding with the snow cover on Scotland's mountains each year, to the myriad of species that depend on the peat bogs that are predicted to dry out. The loss of such species will leave our nature and landscapes poorer, but they will leave Scotland poorer as well.

Our nature and landscapes are vital to Scotland's prosperity. Around 93,000 jobs are directly dependent on them and they generate more than £2 billion in GVA (gross value added), of which over 75% comes from tourism. About 87% of visitors to Scotland say they are drawn to Scotland by our fine scenery and wildlife.

Climate change will have direct consequences for Scotland's people. For example, rising sea levels present a significant threat, with four of the five most populous Scottish cities located in coastal areas. Climate change is also putting renewed pressure on our soils and could significantly reduce our ability to grow crops and ensure Scotland's long-term food security.

The way we manage our nature and landscapes can help to limit the impact of climate change in Scotland. Look at our Opportunities for nature and people page for more information.

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)  İLorne Gill/SNH.  For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritgae Image Library on Tel. 01738 458541 or

Effects on nature and landscapes

Find out more about how climate change is predicted to affect Scotland's nature and landscapes.

Waves crasing against a rocky shore. İLorne Gill/SNH.  For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 458541 or

What this means for us

Find out more about how these effects could impact people and the Scottish economy.

Last updated on Monday 30th April 2012 at 13:39 PM. Click here to comment on this page