Irish summer days will be 2.6C hotter
Average temperatures will rise and summer days will be as much as 2.6C warmer by the middle of this century unless there is concerted action to address climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that strategic planning is needed to address our climate challenges, with new research showing we face enormous changes in our weather patterns.
A new report, 'Ensemble of Regional Climate Model Projections for Ireland', used international data on projected global climate change and modelled it to an Irish level.
It reveals how key features of our climate, including the average temperature, rainfall and the types of storms, are projected to change over the coming decades.
Key findings indicate that by the middle of this century annual average temperatures are projected to increase by 1C to 1.7C, while hot days will be warmer by between 0.7C and 2.6C.
Rainfall is expected to drop during spring and summer, putting pressure on agriculture, while heavy rainfall events will increase during winter and autumn, increasing the risk of flooding. The frequency of storms is projected to decrease, but their intensity will increase.
Meanwhile the energy content of the wind is also expected to fall in some seasons, which may impact on renewable energy production from wind turbines.
Laura Burke, director general of the EPA, said: "It's important that we recognise the strategic and long-term nature of the challenges Ireland faces in the coming decades. We need to take effective and informed action."
Met Éireann director Liam Campbell said: "Ireland is facing into a scenario of a changing climate. We see the provision of local climate information as a key future requirement."