The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a report that projects significant changes to Mayo’s climate over this century. Mayo, along with other Connacht counties, will see this increase in winter rainfall. Over the next number of years it is estimated that winter rainfall in Connacht will increase by up to 10 per cent.
The Report Climate Change in Ireland: refining the Impacts for Ireland, suggests that we need to plan for these changes, which are already occurring, but which will be clearly evident within 40 years.
Laura Burke, Director of the Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use, EPA, said: “Climate change projections such as those provided in this report enable us to assess potential impacts, plan and take actions to avoid the worst of these, and if possible to utilise positive changes.”
Changes in the frequency of extreme events will accompany these climate changes. Lengthier heatwaves, a substantial reduction in the number of frost days, lengthier rainfall events in winter and more intense downpours in summer are projected.
Professor John Sweeney, NUIM, the lead author of this report said: “We are looking at changes in extremes at both ends of the spectrum, more rain and more intense rainfall at one end and then heatwaves and droughts at the other. However, considerable uncertainty still remains in several areas, particularly in relation to rainfall. A risk management type approach to adaptation will be required to take account of these uncertainties.”
The report concludes that there is an urgent need to adopt appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses to the risks posed by climate change, notwithstanding the challenges of recent economic events.
The report is available on the EPA website at www.epa.ie and was prepared by the Irish Climate Analysis and Research unit from the Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Maynooth. The report was prepared as part of the EPA’s Science, Technology Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE ) Programme (2007-2013 ).