Scotland’s Chief Statistician yesterday announced the release of the latest estimates of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases from LULUCF. The figures show that Scotland’s LULUCF activities are a net remover, or ‘sink’, of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
This means that overall these activities result in more greenhouse gases being removed from the atmosphere than released. The size of the Scottish sink has increased by more than five-fold between 1990 and 2012. In 2012, LULUCF net emissions were -5.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e).
Of the land types examined in the report, forest land removes the greatest amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the sink increasing by over 30 per cent between 1990 and 2005. Over the last 40 years the rate of afforestation has decreased. Combined with conifer plantations established in the mid-20th century reaching their planned rotation age now being felled and replanted, this has resulted in the size of this annual sink remaining relatively constant. Wood products produced as a result of these felling operations have resulted in an increase in the sink reported by the harvested wood products category.
The report also examines the emissions and removals from cropland, grassland, wetlands and settlements. Of these, cropland is the largest producer of greenhouse gases in Scotland, though emissions have reduced by 30% since 1999.
While most of the emissions and removals relate to carbon dioxide, in 2012 there were over 300,000 tonnes CO2e of nitrous oxide emissions and nearly 30,000 tonnes CO2e of methane emissions.
Get it at their website.