Farm­ers turn to bot­tled wa­ter to beat heat­wave Com­pany sees or­ders surge in bid to keep live­stock healthy

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The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY RE­BECCA BUCHAN

Scot­tish farm­ers have been forced to bulk buy min­eral wa­ter for their live­stock as the hot weather takes its toll on their nat­u­ral re­serves.

While the rest of the UK has been bask­ing in the sum­mer sun, they have faced run­ning out of the wa­ter re­quired to keep their an­i­mals alive.

Farm­ers would nor­mally pump wa­ter straight from nat­u­ral sources like lakes and lochs when their re­serves run out. “Warm weather makes a big dif­fer­ence to de­mand and we al­ways see an in­crease in sales dur­ing sum­mer.

“This year has been par­tic­u­larly hot for a long pe­riod and we have been work­ing flat out to keep up. Cus­tomers in the UK, EU and Far East have all in­creased or­ders.” Heat­wave tem­per­a­tures sim­i­lar to those that set the UK siz­zling this sum­mer could be­come nor­mal by the end of the cen­tury if car­bon diox­ide lev­els in the at­mos­phere con­tinue to rise, say sci­en­tists.

A new study pre­dicts that with­out ac­tion to curb green­house gas emis­sions, the cli­mate of West­ern Europe could re­vert back to what it was 50 mil­lion years ago.

At that time, dur­ing the Pa­le­o­gene pe­riod, av­er­age an­nual land tem­per­a­tures soared to be­tween 23C and 29C.

Weather con­di­tions were hot, steamy and trop­i­cal.

Pro­fes­sor Rich Pan­cost, one of the re­searchers from Bris­tol Univer­sity, said: “Our work adds to the ev­i­dence for a very hot cli­mate un­der po­ten­tial end-of-cen­tury car­bon diox­ide lev­els.

“Im­por­tantly, we also study how the Earth sys­tem re­sponded to that warmth. For ex­am­ple, this and other hot time pe­ri­ods were as­so­ci­ated with ev­i­dence for arid con­di­tions and ex­treme rain­fall events.”

The sci­en­tists stud­ied fos­sil mi­crobes in an­cient peat to es­ti­mate land tem­per­a­ture 50 mil­lion years ago.

They found an­nual land tem­per­a­tures in West­ern Europe, as well as New Zealand, were sig­nif­i­cantly higher than pre­vi­ously thought.

Study leader Dr David Naafs, from the univer­sity’s School of Earth Sciences, added: “We know the early Pa­le­o­gene was char­ac­terised by a green­house cli­mate with el­e­vated car­bon diox­ide lev­els.”

The find­ings ap­pear in the Na­ture Geo­science.

Pho­to­graph by Colin Ren­nie

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