Environmental Research Centre - ERC Report 6 - L. McElwain and J. Sweeney
Summary: Environmental Research Centre - ERC Report 6 - L. McElwain and J. Sweeney
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Evidence for an anthropogenic influence on climate change is now stronger than ever before, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report assertion that ‘It is very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century’ (IPCC, 2007a). Global average temperature has increased by 0.74 o C over the past 100 years with the rate of warming almost doubling over the last 50 years. Precipitation patterns have also changed with an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events being observed globally.
In order to determine if global trends are reflected in changes in climate at the regional and local level in Ireland, a number of potential indicators of climate change have been investigated. Based on existing observational data, indicators can provide an early warning system, which may point to a critical environmental problem in the future. Climate indicators for Ireland are based primarily on daily synoptic station temperature and precipitation data from Met Éireann’s monitoring network.