March has seen the addition of two new members of staff to the Adaptation Scotland team:
Sophie Turner joins us as our new Climate Resilience Project Co-ordinator, bringing a wealth of experience from previous positions in climate change adaptation in Melbourne, Australia, and as a science officer at UKCIP.
David Macpherson joins the team as our new Information Support Officer, fresh from completing an MSc in Environment and Development at the University of Edinburgh.
Details on the full Adaptation Scotland team can be found here. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything you feel we could help you with.
Leadership opportunity at Sniffer
Sniffer is looking for a new Chair of the Board of Trustees. The charity is keen to find a dynamic Chair to provide strategic leadership and help Sniffer to deliver its vision of a resilient and sustainable Scotland.
Applications close on Friday 17 April 2015. For full details see the Sniffer website.
Have your say on Scotland's Low Emission Strategy
All parties interested in improving Scotland's air quality and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions can now have their say on the Scottish Government's draft Low Emissions Strategy. The strategy aims to draw together policies across local and national government that impact on air quality to refocus efforts on an agenda for action.
To help you share your views on the strategy Sniffer has created a short informal survey that you can fill in here. A four page summary of the LES to aid completing the survey can be found here.
Flood Risk Management Plan consultation
The public and businesses can now have their say on the most comprehensive flood risk assessment ever carried out in Scotland. The assessment, completed in partnership between the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and 14 Local Planning Districts, comprises a national risk management strategy report and detailed local plans covering major flood-risk areas across the country.
The final plans being published in December 2015. Once completed, this assessment will form the roadmap for local and national flood risk management planning from 2015-2021.
Innovative flood forecasting hailed a success
Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) has recommended a wider-roll out of an innovative flood forecasting system, following a successful trial at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The pilot project, led by the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service, used state of the art weather and hydrological models to integrated real time rainfall with detailed information on flood risk across a vulnerable area of the East End of Glasgow. Games organisers and emergency planners used the information to improve planning and reduce disruption, helping to deliver a successful Games.
Scotland's Environment Web secures future funding
Scotland's first dedicated website for environmental data, Scotland's Environment Web, will continue to be supported by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and partners, once the European LIFE+ funding contribution ends later this year.
The site provides access to a range of data, reports and information on Scotland's environment, whilst aiming to improve understanding of the challenges faced by public agencies and the wide range of benefits the environment has to offer all sectors of society.
Environmental Audit Committee publishes report on UK climate change adaptation
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has published the findings of its enquiry into the UK Government's progress on climate change adaptation. Examining the progress being made towards releasing the aims of the UK Government's National Adaptation Programme (NAP), the Committee found a good level of buy-in from many organisations but that the Government failed to use this engagement to drive proactive adaptation policies.
The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) is carrying out a similar independent review of the Scottish Government's progress towards achieving the objectives set out in the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP). This assessment will be present in 2016.
UK's sunniest winter on record
New Met Office statistics show that the winter of 2014/15 was the sunniest the UK has experienced since records began.
The total number of sunshine hours for the season was 196.7. This is 125% of the long-term (1981-2010) average and 7.5 hours more than the previous record, set in 2001. This in stark contrast to last year, which was the wettest winter on record with rainfall rates 65% above average.
Report shows EU environment in best condition since industrialisation
Taking a view across the entire EU, the European Environment - State and Outlook Report 2015 highlights the benefits of recent environmental policies to citizens, nature and the economy. With people enjoying cleaner air and water, sending less waste to landfill and recycling more, and environmental policies driving growth, the report argues the EU's environment is in as good a state today as it was before the Industrial Revolution.
Despite these gains, the report warns of a range of persistent and growing environmental challenges, brought on by global population growth and changing consumption patterns.
Global climate in 2014 marked by extreme heat and flooding
Record ocean heat, high land-surface temperatures and devastating flooding were some of the defining characteristics of the global climate in 2014, according to detailed analysis by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The WMO's 'Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2014' was released to coincide with World Meteorological Day (23 March) and includes a case study compiled by the Met Office on attributing human influence on the climate to UK record temperatures in 2014.
Signatories to 'Mayors Adapt' passes 100 cities
Over 100 cities across Europe have now signed up to the 'Mayors Adapt' initiative. The initiative, run by the European Commission's Directorate General Climate Action, provides a framework for local authorities to take action to adapt infrastructure and policies, building resilience against future impacts.
Two Scottish cities, Glasgow and Stirling, are among the signatories.
Cost of adaptation expected to rise far beyond Africa's coping capacity
New research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found the cost of climate change adaptation in Africa could rise to US$50billion per year by 2050, even if global temperature increases are kept below 2°C.
'Africa's Adaptation Gap 2015' builds on the results of the UNEP's 'Global Adaptation Gap Report 2014', which showed that in all developing countries adaptation costs could rise as high as US$250-500billion per year by 2050.