Much of Dumbarton and the Vale could be devastated by rising sea levels within decades, a report has warned.

Analysis by US scientists, at organisation Climate Central, puts much of the Clydeside from Bowling and Milton right up along the River Leven to Renton at risk.

Older data showed just pockets of our communities potentially affected, with part of the Vale around the A82 and Leven more prone to flooding.

But improved data on elevations show much of the land south and south-west of the A82 could be submerged.

The maps are based on sea levels and annual flood risk by the year 2050 and factor in moderate cuts to global pollution levels.

Sea level rise alone will leave West Dunbartonshire largely unaffected in the coming decades, except between Milton and Bowling, according to the calculations. The risk comes when moderate to severe flooding is factored in.

Climate Central’s report read: “Sea level rise is one of the best known of climate change’s many dangers.

“As humanity pollutes the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the planet warms.

“And as it does, warming sea water expands, increasing the volume of the world’s oceans.

“The consequences range from near-term increases in coastal flooding that can damage infrastructure and crops to the permanent displacement of coastal communities.

“Areas shaded red reflect places that are lower than the selected local sea-level and/or coastal flood projection.

“Over the course of the 21st century, global sea levels are projected to rise between about two and seven feet, and possibly more.”

The report added: “Despite these existing defences, increasing ocean flooding, permanent submergence, and coastal defence costs are likely to deliver profound humanitarian, economic, and political consequences.

“This will happen not just in the distant future, but also within the lifetimes of most people alive today.”

Last month 80 per cent of Venice was submerged by a combination of high tides and heavy rainfall as experts cited it as a sign of what will be widespread.