Research 223: A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland

Authors: Margaret Desmond, Phillip O’Brien and Frank McGovern

Summary: Research 223: A Summary of the State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland

Published: 2017

ISBN: 978-1-84095-733-4

Pages: 58

Filesize: 1,226KB

Format: pdf

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Background

The background to this report lies with its predecessor, the first State of Knowledge on Climate Change Impacts for Ireland (Desmond et al, 2009). That report filled a large knowledge gap by providing an authorative synthesis of the available information on climate change impacts and adaptation. Since then we’ve had the publication of the IPCC 5th Assessment Reports (2013) and numerous national level reports on all aspects of climate change science, impacts and adaptation. In addition, we’ve begun to see the implementation of adaptation at sectoral and local levels. This new reality has created an urgent need for an updated synthesis report that accurately reflects the scientific advances made nationally in knowledge and information generation. The report represents the distillation of a large body of work, largely carried out through research activities since 2009.

Identifying Pressures

Changes in Ireland’s climate are in-line with and similar to relevant global trends. Climate change will have diverse and wide ranging impacts on our environment, society, economic sectors and natural resources. The challenge is to provide decision makers at all levels and the general public with high quality information to make informed decisions on policy development and investments that will be resilient to the impacts of climate change. This report provides: 1) a summary of observed and projected changes in the Irish climate across a number of key parameters; 2) a synthesis of knowledge of ongoing and anticipated climate change impacts across a number of environmental and economic sectors and: 3) recommendations for further steps required to support policy development and aid the implementation of adaptation nationally.

Informing Policy

The information summarised in this report will assist in the development of coherent and rational decision making at the national, sectoral and local level, namely by:

  • Providing a high level synthesis of existing climate change information across a number of key parameters such as temperature, precipitation, sea level rise and extreme weather events;
  • Providing a synthesizes of ongoing and anticipated climate change impacts across a large number of environmental and economic sectors;
  • Providing a summary of possible adaptation options;
  • Identifying knowledge gaps and suggestions on how they might be filled.

Developing solutions

This report provides Irish decision makers with an authorative and timely summary of the state of knowledge on climate change impacts. It will assist the development of adaptation strategies and plans at national, sectoral and local level decision making. It is part of the solution to the societal challenge of transitioning to a climate resilient Ireland.