Are redheads to be victims of climate change?
For a long time we have known that Global Warming is going to have a profound effect on much of the life on the planet today.
As climate change continues to melt the ice caps we have seen images of lonely polar bears sat on tiny platforms of ice, while other species have also lost their homes or even become extinct.
Scientists are now saying that redheaded people could also be a dying breed due to the man made phenomenon.
The red hair gene is thought to be the response to a response to the cloudy weather in countries like Ireland and Scotland. It makes the carrier more sensitive to light and prone to sun damage.
If the climate in these cloudy countries continues to change then the red hair gene could become a thing of the past.
Dr Alistair Moffat, managing director of ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate.
“I think the reason for light skin and red hair is that we do not get enough sun and we have to get all the Vitamin D we can.
“If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene.
“If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.”
Another scientist told ScotlandNow: “It would take many hundreds of years for this to happen. Red hair and blue eyes are not adapted to a warm climate.
“It is just a theory but the recessive gene may likely be lost. The recessive gene could be in danger.”
In Scotland two fifths of the population are thought to carry the red hair gene, while 13% of people have red hair. This is far higher than the global average as only 1-2% of the world’s population are redheads.