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Issue 50 - Global Warming

Whisky Magazine Issue 50
September 2005

 

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Global Warming

A threat to the future of Scotch?

In my youth – a couple of centuries ago it seems – I remember snow lying around my home in Perth for weeks on end. I remember sledging every year and often daily in the 1950s and early 1960s. I don't remember getting days off school because of the bad weather, but I suppose we must have done.

The Scottish snows of 40/50 years ago now seem to be gone forever. My daughter, who is now five years old, has yet to experience the joys of sledging. Alright, I now live some 66 miles south of Perth, but any snow we experience is almost gone within 24 hours and even Perth receives mere flurries of snowfall compared with the past.

The snows of yesteryear meant the upland areas which gather Scotland's water supplies, retained water during the full course of a calendar year. Adistillery's silent season was rarely the result of a lack of water; it was more an opportunity for the staff to carry out routine (and essential) maintenance tasks and to take well-earned holidays.

The reduction in the snowfalls experienced by Scotland has not only meant the collapsing into bankruptcy of one of the country's previously successful ski areas, but also an increase in the length of some silent seasons due to a lack of cooling water.

The Scottish educational system advises that, as an island, the United Kingdom experiences a northern maritime climate, which means cold winters, cool springs and autumns and warm summers, with rain falling mostly over the winter, spring and autumn periods. As the pre...

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