Future climate of Ireland
Observed changes in Ireland's climate over the last century are in line with global and regional trends associated with human-induced climate change.
Over the coming centuries, global, regional and local changes are expected to continue and their rates to increase.
Observed and projected changes for some key climatic variables provide a good indication of the range of expected climate change for Ireland. An overview of trends is provided here, with :
- Average surface air temperatures are expected to increase everywhere and across all seasons.
- An increase in the intensity and duration of heatwaves is expected.
- An increase in seasonality in precipitation can be expected with significant decreases projected for spring and summer and increases for winter.
- An increase in the occurrence of extreme rainfall events is likely.
- Increasing seasonality in hydrological regimes can be expected with decreased summer and increased winter flows likely.
- Flood risk is expected to increase across Ireland while increases in the frequency of drought conditions is also expected.
- An increase in the duration of the growing season is likely with spring occurring earlier.
- Projections indicate the duration of the growing season will continue to increase.
- An increase in the intensity of extreme wind storms is expected.
- Projections indicate a decrease in wind speeds for summer and increases for winter.
- Sea levels are expected to increase for all Irish coastal areas.
- Projected changes in sea level will magnify the impacts of changing storm surge and wave patterns in coastal areas.
- A decrease in mean and extreme wave heights are expected by the end of the century.
- The magnitude and intensity of storm wave heights are expected to increase.
- The rate of sea surface warming around Ireland is increasing at an unprecedented rate.
- In line with global trends, the seas around Ireland are expected to continue warming.
- With increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, levels of ocean acidity are likely to increase.
- Projected changes in salinity vary with region but changes in rainfall will affect coastal salinities.