Climate trends and projections

We are already seeing evidence of Scotland’s climate changing. Over the last few decades our climate has warmed, sea-levels have risen, rainfall patterns have changed and we have been impacted by extreme weather events. Temperatures have been increasing, with the last decade the warmest since records began. Rainfall has been increasing in Scotland over the last thirty years, with more heavy downpours.

Climate projections for the next century indicate that the climate trends observed over the last century will continue and intensify over the coming decades. We can expect future changes in climate to be far greater than anything we have seen in the past.

Key long-term climate change trends for Scotland are:

  • Weather will remain variable, it may become more variable
  • Typical summer is hotter and drier
  • Typical winter / autumn is milder and wetter
  • Sea level rise

We can also expect to see:

  • Increase in summer heat waves, extreme temperatures and drought
  • Increased frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events
  • Reduced occurrence of frost and snowfall

(based on UKCP09)