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Irish weather getting wetter and warmer as climate change officially affecting country

IRELAND’S climate has got wetter and warmer, according to a major new report.

Climate change is now officially affecting Ireland along with the rest of northern Europe, according to a major report published today by the European Environment Agency.

An increase in storms along the west and east coasts of Ireland – but not the south – are predicted.

As the strength of storms increase, so too will the clean-up costs.

But it’s not all bad news as rising sea temperatures off Ireland may lead to an influx of fish species more familiar in warmer southern climates.

The report, Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012, finds average temperatures are rising.

There has also been increased rainfall in Ireland.

Key findings include:

- The last decade (2002–2011) was the warmest on record with land temperature 1.3° C warmer than the pre-industrial average.

- Ireland could be 2.5–4° C warmer in the later part of the 21st Century, compared to the 1961–1990 average.

- While rainfall is decreasing in southern regions, it is increasing in northern Europe.

- Climate change is projected to increase river flooding, particularly in northern Europe, as higher temperatures intensify the water cycle.

- The Arctic is warming faster than other regions. Record low sea ice was observed in the Arctic in 2007, 2011 and 2012, falling to roughly half the minimum extent seen in the 1980s.

- Melting of the Greenland ice sheet has doubled since the 1990s, losing an average of 250 billion tonnes of mass every year between 2005 and 2009.

- Glaciers in the Alps have lost approximately two thirds of their volume since 1850 and these trends are projected to continue.

- Sea levels are rising, raising the risk of coastal flooding during storm events