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The quality of the air around us is affected by pollutants released into the atmosphere through human activities, such as transport and industry, as well as from natural sources.
Over the last century, Scotland’s climate has become warmer, while changes in rainfall patterns have led to drier summers and wetter winters. We have also seen more frequent heavy rainfall events.
Scotland's habitats are rich and varied. These have been shaped by natural variation in the rocks, soils, land forms, the surrounding seas and vagaries of our climate.
We grow food and timber on it; we build our houses and roads on it; much of our water filters through and is purified by it; it stores carbon and it supports a range of habitats and species.
Our environment provides a wide range of benefits, such as the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink, as well as the many materials needed in our homes, at work and for leisure.
Scotland has around 19,000 km of coastline, which makes up 8% of Europe's coast. The area from the coast to our fishery limits (470,000 km2) is around six times the size of the land area of Scotland.
On the whole, Scotland’s environment is of good quality and there have been many significant improvements in recent years. However, the state of the environment report clearly shows that some habitats and species are under threat, and poor air quality continues to affect some people in our towns and cities.