Scotland, in its fight against climate change, set some very ambitious goals that it published on May 14 in Edinburgh. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent group of experts that advises the British Government, presented the goals set by the country to continue its fight against global warming.
Scotland’s most ambitious goal is to achieve a total reduction of its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2045, five years earlier than the target set for the rest of the UK. The CCC considers the possibility of reaching this goal in less time due to the area to capture and store carbon available in Scotland, as well as the greater area available for forest plantations.
As part of this main goal, Scotland proposes to reduce its GHG emissions by 70% by 2030 and 90% by 2040.
Following the publication of the CCC reports, the Scottish government took on the goals proposed by the commission and committed to start legislating to achieve a carbon neutral economy within 26 years.
Prehistoric global warming started in Scotland
A series of volcanic eruptions on what is now the Isle of Skye was able to emit gases into the atmosphere that increased the temperature by between five and eight degrees.
Although it is greatly weighing on the health of the planet, current global warming is not even close, at least for now, to what was experienced on Earth in prehistoric times. A few years ago, a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that several million years ago, a series of massive and sudden emissions of carbon into the atmosphere caused a global temperature increase of about five degrees in a period of time of between 10,000 and 20,000 years. That period was baptized as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.
At that time, the reasons were unknown. But now scientists seem to have found the cause. A group of researchers from the University of Uppsala, in the United Kingdom, affirms that the change was caused by the eruption of a volcano on the Scottish island of Skye, as published today in the journal “Scientific Reports”. Swedish specialists and specialists from the universities of Durham and St. Andrews also participated in the work, as well as the Scottish Center for Environmental Study in Glasgow.
Until now, scientists had suspected that the trigger had occurred in areas of the northern Atlantic Ocean, specifically in Greenland, and in the British Isles, especially in the North Sea territories. But, until now, the radius of action had not been so narrowed. It all started some 56 million years ago in the Red Hills of the Isle of Skye, a place that today is one of the main tourist attractions in the area. There there were a series of large volcanic eruptions that resulted in a temperature that today is estimated to have shot between five and eight degrees Celsius.
To reach these conclusions, the scientists used various methods to compare the composition of the stones they found in two different locations (An Sgùrr hill and Hyskeir islet) using isotope geochemistry technologies . The samples gave identical results in texture and composition in all analyzes, confirming that they were deposited at the same time from a single volcanic eruption . The researchers identified the Isle of Skye as the most likely origin.
Studies also show that the phenomenon may have been similar to the eruptions in the Indonesian archipelago of Krakatoa in 1883, one of the most violent phenomena on record, which resulted in the disappearance of two-thirds of the territory. The results in the area were catastrophic, so much so that there were no survivorsamong the 3,000 inhabitants of the island of Sebesi, which was located about 13 kilometers from Krakatoa.
Another thousand perished in Ketimbang, on the Sumatra coast, some 40 km north of it. The official death toll recorded by the Dutch authorities was 36,417. A few years ago, a team of German researchers conducted tests of pyroclastic flows over water, revealing that hot ash traveled over the water in a cloud of vapor at 400 degrees, causing a fatal and devastating tsunami.
As part of these legislative measures to achieve the goal set by 2045, the Scottish government intends to implement a new return deposit plan for plastic, aluminum or glass containers. This initiative, which is expected to come into operation before the end of the year, consists of increasing the price of the product by 20 cents that will be paid by the consumer, and that will be paid again when he returns the empty product container back to the store.
The Scots will have two ways to return empty containers, one by returning them at the establishment and the other by reverse vending machines, where the customer can recover the deposit paid when purchasing the product or receive a discount coupon.