Severe weather to become regular as global warming effects Ireland’s climate

doolinstorm

Credit: emerald-vision.com

Summers are expected to be hotter and winters wetter and stormier, according to research by Maynooth University.

Alongside international researchers, scientists at Maynooth looked at 150 years of Irish weather records and studied the most extreme years.

The scientists then determined how unusual the extremes were and built experiments to estimate and scrutinise weather patterns over the next century.

The study found the summer of 1995 was the driest and warmest on record and the chance of a re-run of a lengthy heatwave is now 56 times more likely when compared with 1900.

 

Global warming looked to be the culprit for the increased temperatures, rain fall, and flooding.

The Environmental Protection Agency also detected an increase in annual rainfall in northern and western areas of Ireland and a reduction in the length of the frost season as indicators that global warming is having an effect on the Irish climate.

“It’s forecasted 65% chance increase of 2-3 degrees over the next 50 years globally. This will cause a 2-3 meter rise in ocean level, areas around the coast will be reduced and the rivers flow rate will increase and broaden. It could be a few feet around the circumference of the county that could be lost,” said environmental science student Shannen Tuohy, who has studied global warming in depth.

“Weather is different to climate, weather is what we feel now and climate is over a longer time frame so a lot of people think this year is no different to others but it was the warmest year on record. Scientists are almost certain it is human induced.”

Individuals can help to fight global warming by using energy efficient lightbulbs in the home, properly insulating the home, starting a compost pile and recycling to reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfills.

Sarah Magliocco

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