Publication - Statistics

Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2013

Published: 28 Aug 2013

This publication aims to provide an easily accessible reference document which offers information on a wide range of environmental topics. It covers key datasets on the state of the environment in Scotland, with an emphasis on the trends over time wherever possible. The data are supplemented by text providing brief background information on environmental impacts, relevant legislation and performance against national and international targets.

Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2013
Global Atmosphere - Footnotes

Global Atmosphere - Footnotes

1) The 1961-1990 averages used in this publication are calculated from 5 km grid squares and differ from the averages published by the Met Office which are based upon 1 km grid squares. The averages used are temperature: 7.03°C and precipitation: 1,390.57 mm. Although 1971-2000 and 1981-2010 averages are available, 1961-1990 averages are used for comparability with UK Climate Projections 2009 (see 5).

2) IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007. A Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

3) Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group 1 (WG1) Report , February 2007. The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.

4) For a detailed analysis of Scottish climate trends over the last century, see: Barnett, C., Hossell, J., Perry, M., Procter, C. & Hughes, G. (2006). Patterns of climate change across Scotland: Technical Report. SNIFFER Project CC03, Scotland & Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research.

5) UK Climate Projections 2009. The projected changes, based on the 1961-1990 averages, use the medium emissions scenario climate model, and are for the 2080s, i.e. a 2071-2100 average. The Scottish regions are North, West and East Scotland, based on Met Office climate regions. For each estimate, the smallest 10% probability level and the largest 90% probability level as well as the most likely estimate are given, to show the spread of possible outcomes.

6) December - February.

7) June - August.

8) Winter and summer precipitation figures are available on Scottish Environment Statistics Online.

9) Includes emissions from international aviation and shipping. For 2011, it is estimated that Scotland's share of UK GHG emissions from international aviation and shipping equalled 2.5 MtCO2e, compared to 2.4 MtCO2e in 2010 and 2.4 MtCO2e in 1990. For more details see 17.

10) The sectors presented are primarily based on National Communication (NC) categories. The NC categories are agreed groupings of more detailed sectors reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. For further details together with a detailed mapping see 18.

11) Emissions of each GHG are weighted by the global warming potential (GWP) of the gas. GWP accounts for the potency of the gas as a contributor to atmospheric warming. Therefore, while sulphur hexafluoride is released in small quantities, those emissions are adjusted to better reflect the strong warming effect it has. GWPs of all gases are expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent to permit ready comparison. To convert emission values from carbon dioxide equivalent to carbon, they should be multiplied by 12/44.

12) Here the NC categories Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and Agriculture have been combined and split out into three groups. 'Agriculture and related land use' includes all emissions in the NC category Agriculture together with those LULUCF emissions associated with agricultural practices. The remaining LULUCF emissions are grouped into 'Forestry' (changes in emissions resulting from afforestation, deforestation and harvested wood products) and 'Development' (changes in emissions resulting from land use change to settlements). Estimates of emissions and removals from LULUCF are particularly uncertain since they depend critically on assumptions made on the rates of loss or gain of carbon associated with soils and forestry. In Scotland, the effect of activities recorded in Forestry taken as a whole is to act as a sink, absorbing quantities of carbon in excess of the quantity of GHGs the activities generate.

13) IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007. For full reference see 2.

14) The approximate 95% confidence interval for Scottish GHG emissions in 2011, excluding international aviation and shipping, is estimated to be ±29% of the mean. (The estimates for international aviation have low uncertainty, while those for international shipping have high uncertainty.) The approximate 95% confidence interval for the trend in GHG emissions between 1990 and 2011 is between -41% and -18% around a central estimate of -30%. For more details see 17.

15) Emissions from offshore oil and gas installations are not included in the Scottish inventory, and are reported as "unallocated" within the disaggregated UK inventory. For more details see 17.

16) This total has not been adjusted to take account of the effect of trading in carbon units.

17) Salisbury, E., Claxton, R., Goodwin, J., Thistlethwaite, G., MacCarthy, J., Pang, Y., Thomson, A., & Cardenas, L. (2013) "Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990-2011". Ricardo-AEA..

18) Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2011 (2013) Scottish Government, Edinburgh.

19) Further details of this cap are given in Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2011. In Phase I of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (2005-2007), Scotland's emissions were also increased to take account of Scotland's share of EU ETS units sold by the UK Government.

20) 1990 base year is 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for the F-gases, i.e. hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride.

21) Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2010

22) Climate Change (Annual Targets) (Scotland) Order 2011

23) During each year, if emissions from Scottish EU ETS sites collectively exceed this cap total emissions are reduced by this amount as excess units must have been bought from overseas, carried over or brought forward. If, on the other hand, emissions from Scottish EU ETS sites collectively are below this cap total, emissions are increased by this amount as excess units must have been sold overseas or retained.

24) Stratospheric ozone should not be confused with tropospheric (ground level) ozone.


Email: Callum Neil