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Our future climate

Because the Earth's climate has changed in the past, it is a reasonable assumption that it will continue to change in the future. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) in the atmosphere has increased since the start of the industrial revolution and continues to increase.

The interactions and feedbacks between the factors that control the Earth's climate are complex, so predicting how the climate will change is a challenge.  At a global scale there is consensus that temperatures will continue to rise, but at regional scales the effects are harder to predict.

UK Climate Projections

The UK Climate Projections external site   (UKCP09) provide information on how the UK's climate is likely to change in the 21st century, as it responds to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Even with substantial emissions reductions in place, Scotland's climate will continue to change for many decades to come.

In general, we expect that Scotland will get warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers. As the climate changes, Scotland will see:

  • more extreme weather events;
  • more extended hot periods;
  • increases in maximum temperatures across the country;
  • fewer days of snow and frost;
  • longer periods of dry weather in the spring and summer;
  • that the wettest days of the year are likely to be much wetter.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that in parts of the country we are already seeing these trends external site emerging. We must plan for these changes - to try to overcome the negative impacts and to benefit from new opportunities where we can.

Last updated on Thursday 3rd December 2015 at 14:43 PM. Click here to comment on this page