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Sea level rise (SLR)

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.


Observed change

  • Estimates show that globally, average sea level has risen approximately 160 mm since 1902, at a rate of approximately 1.4mm per year.
  • Satellite observations indicate that sea level around Ireland has risen by approximately 2-3mm per year since the early 1990s.


Projected change

  • For 2100 and with respect to the period 1986-2005, Projections suggest an increase in global sea levels between 0.42m (0.28-0.55m; SSP1-1.9) for the very low emissions scenario and 0.82m (0.63-1.01m; SSP5-8.5) for the very high emissions scenario. However due to an as yet limited understanding of some of the important effects that contribute to rates of increase, a best estimate for sea level rise cannot be provided with confidence, and estimates of up to 4-6m have been projected by some models.

Climate status report for Ireland 2020, Camaro & Dwyer: climate observations report

A Report of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2021: global climate projections report

High-resolution Climate Projections for Ireland - A Multi-model ensemble approach 2020, Nolan & Flanagan: climate projections report