Climate change research at SCRI

Projected climate change in northern Britain is for warmer and drier summers, warmer and wetter winters with less snow, and more extreme temperature and rainfall events. These changes will affect crop production and quality, disease susceptibility and resource (water, nutrients and radiation) acquisition and distribution by plants.

Figure showing changes in precipitation in Scotland

Figures showing changes in snow cover and frost in Scotland

Figure 1: Changes in precipitation, frost and snow cover in Scotland over 40 years. Barnett et al., 2006) Barnett, C., Hossell, J., Perry, M., Procter, C., Hughes, G. 2006. A handbook of climate trends across Scotland. Sniffer Project CC03. Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research.

SCRI has a strong track record in responding to climate and environmental change, particularly in the development of appropriate management practices and deployment of genetic resources to combat current and emerging pest and pathogen problems and abiotic stresses.

Current research on the impact of climate change includes the effects of climate on pests and diseases and on abiotic stresses such as drought and frost tolerance. Maintenance of biodiversity and the effects of carbon and nitrogen are part of the wider environmental change agenda.

Mitigation research includes means of using plants to transfer carbon to soils, modified carbon and nitrogen distribution and cycling, and improving nutrient use efficiency to reduce gaseous and leaching losses.

Adaptation research includes identifying mechanisms and sources of durable resistance/resilience to diseases and abiotic stresses, genetic enhancement to cope with variable growing conditions, and the development of new crops.

Read more about our climate change work.

Useful links

PDF file: Climate change research at SCRI (2007) (3.64 MB)

Climate change scenarios and issues for crops in Scotland (KnowledgeScotland briefing, 2009)

Views and Analysis article: Climate Change (2008)

Integrating climate change research across the Main Research Providers in Scotland. (Discussion paper). Main Research Providers Cross Cutting Theme for Climate Change Group. 8 pp. Matthews, R., Newton, A., Ellis, C., Moran, D., Glasbey, C., Skuce, P. (Scottish Government, 2008).

Climate Change and Scottish Agriculture: Report and Recommendations of the Agriculture and Climate Change Stakeholder Group (ACCSG) (Scottish Government, 2008).