Earth, Air, Fire, Water: The environment and our collections

The Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit can help you with your research on climate and the environment. We hold current and historical maps, statistical data, and official publications from Scotland, the UK, the EU, and internationally.


Photo of the River Clyde at sunrise, showing the squinty bridge and the Finneston Crane.
The River Clyde, Glasgow


Rainfall data for Scotland (Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)), England (Environment Agency), and Wales (DataMapWales).

Rainfall maps in our collection showing the average rainfall since 1881.

Water Quality

Waterbase, a collection of databases on the quality of Europe’s Water Resources (European Environment Agency (EEA)).

Data on Freshwater quality in Scotland (SEPA)

Drinking Water

Maps showing Drinking Water Protected Areas (DWPAs) in the Scotland River Basin District (Scottish Government).


Photo at night of a Viking ship ablaze. You can see the head of the ship in a dragon shape, and the fire is only just highlighting the faces of people in costume surrounding the ship.
Annual Up Helly Aa Festival, Shetland

Renewable Energy

World Energy Transitions Outlook: 1.5°C Pathway, June 2021 (International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA).

Renewable and zero emissions: An evaluation of renewable and zero emissions heating systems in 21 Scottish affordable housing projects. (Scottish Government).

Solar heat for power and industry: A thematic collection of innvoative EU-funded research results, August 2021 (European Commission).

Smoke Control Areas

Smoke Control Areas (Digimap OS Collection Improvement Service).


Photo at ground level of potato plants growing in furrows. It's wet and the dips are filled with muddy rain water.
Potatoes growing in furrows

Soil quality

Global Soil Health (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)).

Contaminated Land Scotland (Digimap OS Collection Improvement Service).


Modern farming and the environment: UK Parliamentary debate held on 12th March 2019.


Natura 2000 in cities. Sustainable urban development and nature and biodiversity in cities, 2021. (European Commission).


A shot of the front of the University of Glasgow from somewhere in the sky over Kelvingrove Park. it's a lovely sunny day with blue skies. The trees in front of the uni are lush green.
University of Glasgow from the air

Air Quality

Clean air zone in EU cities (European Parliament debate).

Aviation, decarbonisation and climate change: an overview and analysis of UK and international policies to decarbonise the aviation sector (House of Commons Library Research Briefing).

Scotland’s Air Quality (SEPA).

Atmospheric emmissions: greenhouse gases by industry and gas, Sept 2021 (Office for National Statistics).

If you’d like to know more about obtaining materials for your research just get in touch with us at the Maps, Official Publications and Statistics Unit, and our specialist staff will be happy to help. We’re available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm by email at

Categories: Library, Official Publications

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