Breaking Earth News
There is a significant break in the traditional weather pattern occurring in Scotland. For a start, rainfall is increasing on the west coast, and incoming storms from the Atlantic are becoming more violent. Since 1961, rainfall in winter months has increased by almost 60 per cent. The result is a significant increase in flooding in west central Scotland over the past 20 years – a deluge which has frequently threatened to overwhelm flood defences and drainage systems built for an earlier, drier era. This week the Scottish Government was forced to include in its new list of national infrastructure projects a plan to modernise Glasgow's strategic drainage system. Hotter temperatures will cause the sea level to rise around Scotland by up to 60cm over the next 80 years. The average temperature has already risen by nearly 1C since 1980. In a foretaste of the weather to come, this week's 80mph winds closed Scotland's major bridges, left 20,000 homes without electricity and caused widespread travel chaos, flooding, fires, road accidents and even a train crash. Fortunately, the number of human casualties was small. The immediate lesson from this week's storms is the fact that Scotland habitually grinds to a halt in weather conditions which are still relatively mild when compared to Canada or Scandinavia. Scotland has to abandon the psychology of being surprised every time there is a gale or a blizzard. It must become routine to prepare for the worst and so keep communications and travel going in all but the very worst weather conditions.