The Past: Climate Trends
In Scotland, we have access to a long record of observational climate data collected by the scientific community. It is important that we use this to understand what has already happened to our climate. This provides a valuable context for climate change, allowing us to establish a baseline to compare future changes, validate climate models, and begin to examine impacts already occurring.
The last century has been a period of rapid climate change across Scotland. In particular, records show that over the last few decades: temperatures have increased - with the last decade the warmest ever recorded; rainfall patterns have changed - with increased rainfall and more heavy downpours; sea-level is rise is accelerating; and there have been fewer days with frost and snow cover.
Scotland’s Environment Web: Scotland's Climate Trends Handbook
Scotland’s Climate Trends Handbook complies and analyses observed climate data across Scotland from 1914 to 2011. It covers a range of climate variables, includes maps and graphs, highlights key findings, and a statistical analysis on the significance of trends.
The handbook is complimented by the Climate Trends for Scotland tool that allows users to explore and visualise the full climate trends dataset. This includes a range variables and averaging periods, for locations from 5km grid square, postcode districts, local authorities to entire Scotland.
Met Office: State of the UK Climate Report
The State of the UK Climate report is an annual publication which provides an accessible, authoritative and up-to-date assessment of UK climate trends, variations and extremes based on the latest available climate quality observational datasets. It is an update to the UKCP09 report on The Climate of the United Kingdom and Recent Trends.
Met Office: UK Climate
The Met Office holds the weather and climate records for the United Kingdom. It has an extensive UK Climate section on its website, including a range of summaries, maps and figures. Of particular interest are:
- Case studies of interesting Past Weather Events
- Information on recent UK Storms
- UK Climate Anomaly Maps showing variations in climate between months, seasons and years
- Climate summaries for Northern, Eastern, and Western Scotland
- National Climate Information Centre datasets for regional climate
- UKCP09 Gridded Observation (5km grid) climate dataset
There is a wealth of information available on global climate trends:
- The World Meteorological Organization provides an annual Statement on the Status of Global Climate
- NOAA produces monthly State of the Climate reports
- NASA Global Climate Change interactively shows the Vital Signs of the Planet
- IPCC AR5: The Physical Science Basis includes significant sections on observed trends