Climate Change in Ireland: The Present & The Future

Climate change in ireland

Climate Change in Ireland: The Present & The Future

Everyone has heard about the issue of climate change and how big a problem it is. But what about climate change in Ireland specifically? A comprehensive climate change report has been published focusing on Ireland for the first time. Below is a summary of the report’s key points.


What is Climate Change? 

Climate change refers to long-lasting changes in the planet’s climate. The most significant change is an increase in temperature, known as global warming. Climate change is mainly caused by human activities, including burning fossil fuels (e.g. coal) and deforestation. These activities release gases like carbon dioxide into the air. Too much carbon dioxide in the air traps heat, making the planet warmer. Global warming makes weather more extreme, ice at the poles melts, and sea levels rise. The effects are dangerous for animals, plants, and people. Climate change poses a serious threat, and urgent action is needed to protect our planet.


Climate Change in Ireland Today

The last decade was likely the warmest in the previous 100,000 years. Global sea levels have risen by 0.2 metres since 1900, and this rate is speeding up. In the last 150 years, human activities have caused the Earth to warm by 1.14°C. This is mainly due to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate change in Ireland means average temperatures are about 1°C higher than they were in the early 20th century. Sixteen of the 20 warmest years have occurred since 1990. Heavy rain is also becoming more frequent. As a result, sea levels in Cork and Dublin are rising faster than the global average. Recent extreme weather events show Ireland’s vulnerability to climate change.


The Future of Climate Change in Ireland

We must reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions and reduce other greenhouse gases to stop global warming. Climate change in Ireland could be managed if we act quickly to reduce emissions. But, regardless of changes, sea levels will continue to rise for thousands of years. If we delay making changes, temperatures could rise by 2.77°C by the end of the century, leading to more extreme weather events. Sea level rise, storm surges, and coastal erosion will increasingly threaten Ireland.

Climate change in Ireland will affect many aspects of life:

Biodiversity: Native species will be affected by temperature changes and altered rainfall. Invasive species might increase.

Agriculture: Some crops may benefit, but many others will struggle.

Coastal Areas: Rising sea levels and erosion threaten coastal towns and cities.

Water Resources: Both floods and droughts are expected to become more extreme.

Health: Health and wellbeing will be impacted, with risks to critical health infrastructures.


How to Deliver a Climate-Neutral Ireland?

Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked in 2001. Since then, they have decreased in most sectors except agriculture. The country has set ambitious emission reduction goals. Our 5-year carbon budgets aim for a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030. By 2050, climate neutrality is the target. However, current policies are insufficient, and significant knowledge gaps exist, especially regarding land use. As a result, Ireland still emits more per person than the EU average. Ireland must significantly change its energy system to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Established technologies like wind and solar power will help meet short-term targets. Emission cuts in agriculture and land use are essential. Measures like improving livestock management and increasing forest areas are necessary. 


Conclusion for Climate Change in Ireland 

Climate change is a major challenge across the world. It has a significant impact on global ecosystems and communities. Ireland faces the urgent need for action to overcome this problem. Southern Scientific can assist individuals and businesses to address climate change issues. We offer environmental and consultancy services staffed by qualified experts. By working together, we can safeguard our planet for generations to come.


Find out more about our Environmental and Testing Consultancy services today! 

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