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Recent heavier snowfall in Scotland may be the result of a rise in sea temperatures off the country's west coast. Researchers from the Scottish Association for Marine Science have gathered data indicating that temperatures along a stretch of coast between the cities of Oban and Rockall have risen dramatically during the past several years.

The scientists have monitored sea temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean for the past 15 years. They determined that the top 650 feet (200 meters) of seawater between Oban and Rockall have warmed by between 33 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit (.5 and 1 degree Celsius). According to the scientists, the findings support recent predictions by other researchers that increases of up to 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) will occur in sea temperatures by the end of this century.

Although the group remained cautious about stating there was a direct connection to global warming, they did say the variation in sea temperatures could be responsible for the country's increase in snowfall and flooding. Many climatologists maintain that warmer temperatures in the world's oceans put more moisture into the atmosphere, which is subsequently released as heavy rain or snow.

Source : Sciences