Shock, Horror: Climate Change May Lead To Extinction Of Scottish Redheads
A DNA expert has has made the bold claim that ginger hair gene could die out if Scotland climate improves.
Canadian comic Shawn Hitchins (centre in green tee-shirt) led a parade through Edinburgh city centre to demonstrate against discrimination against people with red hair.
REDHEADS could become extinct as Scotland gets sunnier, experts have claimed.
The gene that causes red hair is thought to be an evolutionary response to the lack of sun in Scotland.
Redhead colouring allows people to get the maximum vitamin D from what little sun there is.
Only one to two per cent of the world’s population has red hair but in Scotland the figure is about 13 per cent, or 650,000 people.
However, the figure could fall dramatically – and even see redheads die out completely in a few centuries – if predictions that the country’s climate is set to become much sunnier are true.
Dr Alistair Moffat, boss of genetic testing company ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and the north of England is adaptation to the climate. We do not get enough sun and have to get all the vitamin D we can.
“If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.”
Another scientist, who asked not to be named because of the theoretical nature of the work, said: “I think the gene is slowly dying out. Climate change could see a decline in the number of people with red hair in Scotland.”