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25 September, 2019

SNH media statement: IPCC's Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today issues a statement on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). 

The report is understood to be the  first to specifically address the impacts of a warming world on Earth's oceans and cryosphere — the parts of the planet that are covered in ice, such as glaciers, permafrost and sea ice — to outline the risks that they face.

Cathy Tilbrook, SNH’s Head of Sustainable Coasts and Seas said:


“We welcome this report which very clearly sets out the way that climate change is affecting our oceans, and the wider impact this will have on people around the world.


“In tracking the health of Scotland’s seas and the wildlife they support, we are seeing growing evidence of stresses caused by climate change, including declines in many seabird populations, and increased incidence of marine non-native invasive species. Our work to designate and manage Marine Protected Areas and advise on fisheries management aims to increase resilience and allow wildlife to adapt to many of these changes.


“Some marine and coastal habitats, like maerl beds, saltmarshes and marine sediments, are important ‘blue carbon’ stores and as we learn more about how they function, we are looking at how to ensure they continue to lock up carbon as well as providing other critical functions for people and nature.


We help care for many protected areas that hold evidence of past coastal changes, crucial to anticipating future sea-level rise.  The Scottish Government’s Dynamic Coast project, hosted in SNH, has quantified coastal erosion and change over the last 150 years.  It is now investigating how key coastal locations will be affected by sea-level rise over the coming decades, so that strategies for resilience and adaptation can be put in place to help sustain Scotland’s society and economy.


“There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society. We know we have a big task before us but working with our partners we are ready to deliver the transformational change required to bring a nature rich future for Scotland, part of the urgently needed solution to climate change.”


Contact information

Cat Synnot

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

'S e Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Tha sinn ag obair airson ar n-àrainneachd nàdarra ann an Alba a thoirt am feabhas agus a h-uile duine a bhrosnachadh gus barrachd cùraim a ghabhail dhi. Gus am bi an nàdar air fad ann an Alba – ar prìomh àrainnean is chruthan-tìre, ar n-àiteachan uaine gu lèir is ar gnèithean dùthchasach - air an gleidheadh, air an leasachadh 's a' toirt bhuannachdan dhuinn. 'S e an dleastanas a th' oirnn uile co-chothrom ann an stiùireadh faiceallach ar saoghail nàdarra a ruighinn airson bith-iomadachd a ghleidheadh 's a leasachadh. Airson an tuilleadh fios, tadhail air an làraich-lìn againn aig no lean air Twitter sinn aig