Dire warnings about the devastating effect that storms, flooding and high temperatures could have on Dumbarton and the Vale in the coming decades have been sounded in a new report on climate change.

The report, by Climate Ready Clyde (CRC), warns that the Erskine bridge will see “extreme exposure” to storms and could need costly wind barriers as a result.

The Vale of Leven Hospital could be at risk from river flooding, says the report, and the Dumbarton-Helensburgh railway line could suffer erosion.

The study said that by 2050 the wider region will be hit by far more powerful storms, by regular heatwaves and by heavy winter flooding, affecting up to 1.8 million people.

CRC warns that failing to adapt and prepare for climate change could cost the Glasgow region several hundred million pounds a year by the 2050s.

Local politicians expressed concern at the report’s findings and stressed now is the time to act to combat the dangers.

Jackie Baillie MSP said the potential effect of climate change on our communities is deeply worrying.

She added: “If the predictions made in the Climate Ready Clyde report are realised, people on this side of the Erskine Bridge could be cut off unless wind barriers are installed and the Vale of Leven Hospital could be at risk of flooding, leaving people to travel further for access to health treatment.

“The report also suggests that people in the poorest areas are most vulnerable to the economic and social impacts of heatwaves and flooding which puts them at greater risk.

“We must take climate change seriously and ensure that we address these potential problems before they are realised.”

Ross Greer, West Scotland Green MSP, said: “This year alone the west of Scotland has seen the ‘Beast from the East’, a massive heatwave and damage from high winds.

"Unless we take this threat seriously there’s more of this to come, and this report sets out just some of the problems we can expect to face in the next 30 years.

“The solution is about much more than individuals making a few changes to their lifestyles.

"The most effective thing would be for governments - including in Holyrood - and corporations to urgently stop their worship of fossil fuels and get serious about a carbon-free society.”

Gil Paterson, SNP MSP for Clydebank said climate change is one of the biggest issues the world faces for the future, if not the biggest.

He added: “It’s a subject that can seem remote to many but environmental issues affect us all, Scotland is not immune to the threats.

“The Scottish Government has made enormous efforts to combat the dangers from climate change; we are world leaders on the issue and have frequently been quoted internationally.

The targets that we have already met are some of the highest in the world as are the targets we are putting in place for the future.

“CRC, have produced one of the most comprehensive assessments on the issue in the UK. It highlights how the waterfront communities in Dumbarton, Old Kilpatrick and Clydebank could be impacted in the future.

"I’m encouraged to know that we are looking ahead to the challenges we might face and working on ways to address them.

“And we all have a responsibility to think about what we can do to help our environment. Even small changes in lifestyle can make a difference.”

Dumbarton Labour councillor David McBride told the Reporter the reports of climate change and its repercussions to area infrastructure was extremely concerning.

He said: “We are all aware this year has seen exceptional weather to us locally with severe snow in February and March with closed schools and workplaces and public transport ground to a halt.

“This was followed by a lengthy summer with record breaking temperatures we all enjoyed.

“I will be encouraging WDC and partners to provide an action plan to tackle the issues highlighted in the Climate Action Clyde report.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokeswoman said work had been ongoing over the last decade and the council had invested significantly to protect vulnerable householders, businesses and communities from flooding which is one the main risks of climate change in the area.

She added: “Alongside large scale projects such as the £3.5million Knowle Burn flood alleviation scheme, which is safeguarding communities around the A82 in Dumbarton, we have annually invested in improving and enhancing our surface water drainage systems.

“Further flood prevention work is scheduled for the coming year. In addition our investment in LED lighting and electric council vehicles is significantly reducing our carbon emissions.”