Climate Change in West Lothian
We are already feeling the effects of climate change in Scotland, with rising temperatures and more frequent storms impacting on many aspects of society, including health, agriculture, buildings, water resources and energy demands.
Climate change, including increased risk of flooding, storms, landslides, drought and heat waves, can impact the council, communities and businesses across West Lothian in a number of ways, including:
- Damage and disruption to essential infrastructure including transport, energy and water networks
- Damage to buildings and effects of overheating and extreme rainfall events
- Changes to and increased pressure on local habitats and species biodiversity
- Changes to agriculture and forestry including longer growing seasons, increased pests and diseases, challenges of more variable and extreme weather and degraded habitats
- Changes in social and recreational behaviour with increased opportunities for active, outdoor activities
- Pressure on emergency services in dealing with the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, landslides and wildfires and health impacts
Much of the change in climate over the next 30 - 40 years is already determined by our past and present emissions. Scotland will be increasingly affected by climate change in the future and it is crucial that we act now to adapt sustainability and reduce our emissions.
Local Climate Impact Profile
Understanding the impacts of recent past weather events plays an important part in helping to assess the impacts of future changes in climate. The Handbook of Climate Trends Across Scotland published by SNIFFER provides climate data across Scotland over the last century (1914-2011).
The council recently undertook a Local Climate Impacts Profile (LCLIP) project to assess the impacts and consequences of recent past weather events on council services and the wider community. This will be published later in 2019, along with the council's Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan.