A new report has warned that climate change is having a serious effect on Britain’s beautiful coasts.

The report, from the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) says our seas are becoming more violent and this is causing coastal erosion – which in turn means a higher risk of flooding.

It says 2006 was the second warmest year for UK coastal waters since records began in 1870 and seven of the 10 warmest years have all taken place in the last decade.

Warmer winters are thought to be linked to reduced breeding success and the survival of some types of seabird and the MCCIP fears that coastal erosion and flooding will continue to increase.

Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment says: “Our seas play a vital role in regulating our climate and are a lifeline for the communities that live around them.”

The government will soon be looking at proposals for a Scottish Climate Change Bill which could include a mandatory target to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in Scottish emissions by 2050.

Jonathan Shaw, minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs says the MCCIP report is a vital piece in the jigsaw of evidence that we need to help us to fight climate change.

According to the report, erosion is affecting almost a third of England’s coastlines and expects say that the rise in sea-level coupled with flooding, storms and bigger waves will affect ports, shipping and coastal building.

The RSPB says the seas around the UK are critically important to many seabirds including the great skua, the kittiwake and the puffin and many species will have a hard time adjusting to further rises in temperature.

John Croxhall, from the RSPB says: “We mustn’t sit back and allow our marine wildlife to suffer while subjecting ourselves to increased risks of coastal erosion and flooding.”

The RSPB is part of a coalition of organisations calling for a full Marine Bill to ensure that our seas and marine wildlife receive the protection they deserve.

Mr Croxhall said: “As well as urgently curbing greenhouse gas
emissions, we must establish Marine Protected Areas.”

This is vital if we are to continue to host one of the world’s largest populations of seabirds.




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