The impacts of coastal climate change are already being felt globally, as seen by the hurricane damage in the Caribbean and America.

More locally, the new SNH report provides a clear and authoritative assessment of the coastal erosion and flood risks posed by sea level rise in the Firth of Clyde.

Importantly, it identifies for the first time what the impacts of this increased risk will likely pose for nature, society and our infrastructure – risks that are crucial for society to take seriously today.

Can we do things now, as a society, that can help us reduce the impacts and costs of these risks – so that our coastal communities are more resilient to future change?

Adaptation is key and so the report identifies windows of opportunity that present themselves to allow adapting our planning, infrastructure and land use decisions to enable society to become more resilient to dynamic changes at the coast.

This will mean viewing the coastline as a coastal floodplain (in the same way as we now do with river floodplains) and this involves re-thinking the boundaries between the coast and land.

We all need to accept the coast as a dynamic zone instead of a static coastline and adjust accordingly– this may mean moving assets inland to safer areas.

Bearing any short-term costs now should yield medium and long-term benefits where housing, infrastructure and businesses are located in less risky locations and where new space is created for wildlife and recreation.

Dr Jim Hansom and Dr Larissa Naylor are experts in climate change at the University of Glasgow and have advised the Scottish and UK governments on issue.