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.
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:
- The latest report for 2019 is available here.
- A special supplement on weather extremes, published in 2017, is available here.
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 interest are:
- Case studies of interesting Past Weather Events
- UK Climate Anomaly Maps showing variations in climate between months, seasons and years
- Climate summaries for Northern, Eastern, and Western Scotland
- UK and regional data series
- UKCP18 data and user guidance
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