Research 257: An Operational Climate Information Platform for Ireland: Summary Report

Authors: Alastair McKinstry and Eoin McHugh

Summary: Information on climate change and options for adaptation can be complex and inaccessible to key stakeholders and decision makers. This project has developed an Operational Climate Information Platform (OCIP) to disseminate the current data and guidance on climate change for Ireland. The OCIP is scalable, maintainable and can be continuously updated with new data that are generated from operational observation systems and research.

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1-84095-794-5

Pages: 27

Filesize: 919KB

Format: pdf

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Identify Pressures

Information on climate change and options for adaptation can be complex and inaccessible to key stakeholders and decision makers. This project has developed an Operational Climate Information Platform (OCIP) to disseminate the current data and guidance on climate change for Ireland. New datasets have been derived and published; these show that precipitation and temperature extremes in the form of continuous heavy precipitation days, land usability and soil moisture deficits show greater variability and impacts on Ireland than average temperature and precipitation do.

Inform Policy

The online resource can inform planning and policy development across all sectors and regions. The new datasets – on soil moisture deficits, frost days, thermal growing season and land trafficability under projected climate change scenarios for Ireland, in particular – can inform agriculture and land use change policy. Although average temperature changes of 1–2 degrees may not seem immediately significant, this is seen to translate to an extended growing season of up to 35 days in high emission scenarios. This, however, is tempered by water saturation in winter, which makes warmer temperatures irrelevant, as the land is unusable. By plotting the land trafficability measure developed by Teagasc, we can see map-relevant changes that can inform agricultural planning.

Develop Solutions

The project developed an OCIP based on previous work by project partners in MaREI (marine and renewable energy research, development and innovation centre supported by Science Foundation Ireland). The platform is scalable and maintainable, and additional workflows created during the project make it possible to continuously update the platform with the new data that are generated from operational observation systems and research. Improved modelling of climate change for Ireland is under way (with Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 2.6 emissions scenarios and model updates for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6, (CMIP6)), and the platform, as implemented, will make it possible to readily upload the updated analysis and has been made accessible to policymakers, decision makers and the general public.