Global warming threatens Scotland's last wilderness


The Wicked Sword Maiden
Jun 14, 2005
As snow disappears from the Cairngorms, rare birds and flowers - as well as the skiing industry - are at risk, reports science editor Robin McKie
Adam Watson is staring at the hills that line the horizon to the west of his office. 'There should be snow on those hills,' he said. 'This is December and many of these peaks are more than 3,000ft high. Yet there is not a patch of white anywhere.'

The Cairngorm plateau - a rocky massif once encrusted in ice and snow for most of the year - is losing its snow cover with dramatic speed. As in the rest of the Highlands, a third has disappeared over the past 30 years and the rest will go in a few more decades, it is predicted.

The coldest plateau in Britain, a bleak, dangerous stretch of tundra that possesses four of the nation's five highest mountains and dozens of rare plants and birds, including ptarmigans, golden eagles and ospreys, the Cairngorm is being warmed at a startling rate.

Global warming threatens Scotland's last wilderness | Environment | The Observer
Having hiked around some of Highlands in my younger days I'd say Scotland is one country that would benefit from Global Warming.
A couple of years ago, we had visiting cousins who wanted to see 'real snow'. As we said, that was no longer guaranteed for any given week. We suggested Nevis Range, near Ft. William on West coast, where you can ride alpine gondola from near-sea-level base station to sub-arctic plateau.

That winter was very, very mild. Even the highest runs were merely frosted, not feet deep in ski-grade snow.

The Glencoe runs fared no better. Our cousins eventually drove over to the Cairngorms and found enough for snow-balls...

Against that, I remember one year's remarkable cold snap which took Ft. William to 24 Centigrade degrees below freezing for two days and a ghastly night, shattered our 'all-seasons' car-cover...

We'd treated ourselves to a cute cottage for a week to spend a rare 'Christmas away from the family', spent much of the time huddled for warmth.

I had to run the car's engine for an hour twice a day to keep it startable...

IIRC, we watched comedian Billy Connolly's 'Scot in the Arctic' TV program, where he complained that his glacier-top camp was 18 Centigrade below...

Hey, the Fort's 24 below was *after* the Arctic air warmed itself on us on the way down-hill...

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