The rise in rainfall in Ireland is directly connected to increasing degrees of global warming, a new study on climate change has found.
Maynooth University's ICARUS Climate Research Centre found there is clear evidence humans are changing Ireland’s climate, and there is particular need for climate adaptation when it comes to flooding.
An analysis of rainfall data found average rainfall intensity is increasing by 8.2% for every one degree of global temperature rise.
Locations in the east and midlands of the country show the greatest rate of “unfamiliar climate” and warming in annual temperature.
Investigating weather stations across the country, the study found Dublin-based stations show the largest signal of change, with an increase of 1.14 degrees in annual mean temperature per one degree increase in global warming.
Professor Conor Murphy, who led the study, said this increase in the east is greater than the global average.
“What we find is an increase in annual temperatures in Ireland – about 0.88 degrees per degree of global warming,” he said.
The study warned “detection of forced climate change signals in observations is critical for public communication and informing robust adaptation responses”.
“With continued warming, such increases in winter precipitation would have substantial consequences for fluvial and groundwater flooding, even if global temperature increase is maintained at no more than 2 degrees,” the study said.
This study comes as cleanup operations are underway in Dublin, Wicklow and Waterford following heavy rainfall and flooding in the wake of Storm Babet.
Cork County Council is continuing to monitor the levels of the Owenacurra River in Midleton and Council staff will be on site at the Midleton Coordination Centre throughout the weekend.