The evidence is clear, global climate change means Ireland is warmer and wetter
- Long term observations in Ireland provide important insights on the causes and consequences of Climate Change;
- Increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have been observed in Ireland, and reflect the increasing global levels of these key drivers of global warming;
- Global warming has resulted in Ireland’s climate becoming warmer and wetter;
- Sea level rise, increased ocean acidity, and higher ocean temperatures are also observed in our oceans and coastal areas;
- Ireland’s ocean and terrestrial ecosystems are responding to these changes, resulting in changes in ocean species and a longer growing season on land.
‘The Status of Ireland’s Climate 2020’ shows Ireland’s climate is warmer & wetter than it used to be. Increases in carbon dioxide, methane & nitrous oxide are leading to sea level rise, increased ocean acidity & higher ocean temps https://t.co/6G5UnEGd3F #IrishClimateStatus pic.twitter.com/fjl9EKSxQD
— EPA Ireland (@EPAIreland) August 12, 2021
🚩‘The Status of Ireland’s Climate 2020’ https://t.co/RAHeemRiAa shows #airtemp in Ireland has increased by over 0.9 degrees in the last 120 years and annual precipitation was 6% higher from 1989 to 2018, compared to 1961 to 1990. #IrishClimateStatus @MetEireann @EPAIreland pic.twitter.com/6jwbuXr2Qd
— Marine Institute (@MarineInst) August 12, 2021
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann (MÉ) and the Marine Institute (MI) have published a report on “The Status of Ireland’s Climate”. This is the second comprehensive analysis of “essential” climate data collected in Ireland. It confirms and updates findings from the 2012 report and details how global changes are being reflected in our atmosphere, oceans and our landscape. The report was prepared by MaREI, University College Cork and funded by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann (MÉ) and the Marine Institute (MI).
The scientific data monitored and collated by GCOS Ireland represents Ireland’s long- standing contribution to the international scientific effort of providing the fundamental data needed to monitor our changing climate. GCOS Ireland collects scientific data on more than 40 Essential Climate Variables, identified by the UNFCCC, across atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial domains.
The report also identified that progress has been made in several areas of Ireland’s observation infrastructure, resourcing, analyses and co-ordination, since the 2012 Climate status report. Nonetheless, further action is needed to ensure the national climate observation system is fit for purpose for the coming decades. This includes continued maintenance of existing climate monitoring programmes and infrastructure, the transition of climate observations to long-term sustainable programmes, and investigate potential to monitor essential climate variables not currently observed in Ireland.
Links to relevant materials
Research Co-ordinator for Coastal and Marine Systems
MaREI, University College Cork
- The annual average surface air temperature in Ireland has increased by over 0.9oC over the last 120 years, with a rise in temperature being observed in all seasons.
- Annual precipitation was 6 per cent higher in the period 1989 to 2018, compared to the 30-year period 1961 to 1990.
- The concentration of the main Climate driver: greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – measured in Ireland, continued to increase since 2012 with long term implications for our climate.
- Satellite observations indicate that the sea level around Ireland has risen by approximately 2-3mm per year since the early 1990s.
- Measurements in the surface water to the west of Ireland indicate an increase in ocean acidity which is comparable to the rate of change in oceans around the world.
- The average sea surface temperature measured at Malin Head has been 0.47ºC higher over the last ten years compared to the period 1981-2010.
- There is an increase in river flows across most of Ireland since the early 70s. However, there is evidence in recent years of an increase in potential drought conditions especially in the east.
- Land cover observations since 1990 show increases in the areas covered by artificial surfaces and forest whilst there is a decrease in wetland areas.
Today’s report brings together the evidence of the changes that have occurred across Ireland’s environment, from both long term detailed measurements on our land and in our oceans and atmosphere and from linked data from satellite observations from programmes such as Copernicus.”
EPA Director General
Environmental Protection Agency
The Status of Ireland’s Climate report not only includes invaluable data provided to GCOS as Ireland’s contribution to the global climate monitoring effort but also informs development and improvement of national climate monitoring infrastructure to provide ever better understanding of our climate system and to optimise national climate monitoring capacity. This long-term climate monitoring allows us to best compare changes occurring in Ireland’s climate to those across Europe and the rest of the world and to tailor our national response into the future”.
Ireland, rainfall is increasing in winter and decreasing in summer.
— Climate Ireland (@ClimateIreland) August 13, 2021