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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

Gingers could go extinct due to warming temperatures

Who are the Viking tour going to shout at now?

RED HEADS ARE in danger of going extinct due to the warming climate, if new reports are to be believed.

Red hair is thought to have developed due to the cloudy and wet weather in Scotland and Ireland as it allows carriers to absorb larger amounts of Vitamin D. The gene mutation results in red hair and pale skin which is more sensitive to light, so DNA in cells are more susceptible to damage and cancer. As a result, if temperatures rise, it might abolish the mutation with a new evolutionary response.

Speaking to The Independent, managing director of Galashiels-based ScotlandsDNA, Dr Alistair Moffat said:

We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and in the North of England is adaption to the climate. If the climate is changing and it is to become more cloudy or less cloudy then this will affect the gene. If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, then yes, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.

However, another scientist told the paper that this would take “many hundreds of years to happen”, so you can hold on to your red hair for the moment.

Only about 1-2% of the world’s population have ginger hair, but in Ireland 10% are ginger, with around 46% carrying the gene.

That’s a lot of ginger.

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