Orkney's late Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae is one of the world's most famous heritage sites threatened by climate change, an important report has warned.

They range from the Statue of Liberty to Venice and the Galapagos Islands, which helped Charles Darwin form his theory of evolution.

But the 5.000 year old Skara Brae, the best-preserved Stone Age dwelling complex in Western Europe, is the most high profile site at risk of eventual loss due coastal erosion, the study has found.

It comes from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), UN heritage body Unesco and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

It looked at 31 natural and cultural World Heritage sites in 29 countries that are vulnerable to increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, rising seas, more intense weather, worsening droughts and longer wildfire season. At Stonehenge, warmer winters are likely to boost populations of burrowing animals that could disturb archaeological deposits and destabilise stonework. While that famous Wiltshire monument along with Avebury and Silbury Hill face increased rainfall and flash floods.

But more severe problems threaten the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site, where many archaeological sites are on the coast due to the importance of the sea in Stone Age life. At least half are under threat from coastal erosion, not least Skara Brae.

It is on the southern shore of Sandwick and was inhabited by people between 3200 and 2200 BC. Seven of their houses, connected by low covered passageways, have survived. They have stone dressers, beds and seats.

An eighth building may have been used as a workshop as fragments of antler and bone were found in it. The village was revealed by a winter storm in 1850.

An eighth building may have been used as a workshop as fragments of antler and bone were found in it.

Lead author of the report and deputy director of the climate and energy programme at UCS, Adam Markham, said: "Orkney and the whole of Scotland is the poster child for eroding archaeology sites. There are thousands of them and many of them are being lost to coastal erosion and storms.

"If sea level rise and storms get worse because of global warming then we are going to be losing huge amounts of British heritage directly into the sea," he warned.

Other sites around the world that are at risk from coastal erosion include Easter Island, with its famous head statues, many of which are situated close to the sea, he said.

Elsewhere sites which bring in important tourism revenue could be particularly badly hit, such as Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where rising temperatures could affect the habitat of endangered mountain gorillas.

Mr Markham said: "The report is representative of the kind of threats these iconic places are experiencing, some are in direct and immediate danger.

"At every one of these sites we can see the impacts of climate change already. Not in every place is it threatening it yet but it will threaten it in the future."

New York's Statue of Liberty was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy, with £68 million given for repairs and protection to the area, while more intense hurricanes are expected with climate change and sea level rises likely to cause more significant storm surges.

Venice, with its extraordinary Byzantine, gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture, is under immediate threat from rising sea levels and work to protect it from flooding has cost £4 billion, the report said.

Mechtild Rossler, director of Unesco's World Heritage Centre, said: "Globally, we need to better understand, monitor and address climate change threats to World Heritage sites.

"As the report's findings underscore, achieving the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global temperature rise to a level well below 2C is vitally important to protecting our world heritage for current and future generations."