EDINBURGH, Apr 26, 2022 (AFP) – Climate change has caused a rapid and extensive rise in temperatures in Scotland’s lakes and aquifers, according to a study published on Tuesday that estimates this trend will continue if nothing is done. to reverse it.
Between 2015 and 2019, 97% of the lakes and reserves that were studied recorded an increase in temperature, with a warming of almost 1ºC in this period, indicated the Center for Knowledge on Water of Scotland (CREW).
“This study shows for the first time that climate change is warming our lakes and reservoirs in Scotland and that the trend is likely to continue,” said expert Linda May of the UK’s Center for Ecology and Hydrology, a leading study authors.
“This alerts us to the possible impacts of climate change on biodiversity, water supply and recreational use and highlights the need for mitigation measures to be adopted as soon as possible,” he added.
The waters of southern and eastern Scotland are expected to warm first, but the climate impact will hit all regions of Scotland by 2040.
The researchers warned that warming and changes in rainfall associated with climate change increase the risk of harmful algal blooms, which displace other plant species and produce toxins that can affect animals and humans.
Scotland’s Environment Minister Mairi McAllan said the research provided “even more sobering evidence” about the risks of climate change.
The report recommends reducing the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen reaching lakes and aquifers from their basins, as this is the main cause of algae growth.
These nutrients are present in synthetic fertilizers and human and animal waste, including farm runoff and sewage.