What will Happen to Ireland When the Earth gets 5 Degrees Warmer?

What will Happen to Ireland When the Earth gets 5 Degrees Warmer?

We have hit the “no going back” point for global warming. Our little Earth could heat up by nearly 5 degrees by the end of the century. So how will this affect Ireland?

Warming of the planet by 2 degrees Celsius is often seen as a “tipping point” that people should try to avoid. We can do this by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. But apparently we are at the “no going back” point, according to new research.

The study is estimating that at the very minimum, the earth will warm around 2 degrees by the end of this century. But that’s the best case scenario. It could get worse than that. New projections show a 90 percent chance that temperatures could increase this century by 4.9 C.

“Our analysis shows that the goal of 2 degrees is very much a best-case scenario,” said lead author Adrian Raftery, a UW professor of statistics. “It is achievable, but only with major, sustained effort on all fronts over the next 80 years. The most optimistic projections are unlikely to happen. We’re closer to the margin than we think.”

Co-author Dargan Frierson, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences, said, “Damage from heat extremes, drought, extreme weather and sea level rise will be much more severe if 2 C or higher temperature rise is allowed. Our results show that an abrupt change of course is needed to achieve these goals.”

The planet is on course to have 11 billion people by 2100. However Raftery says that population has a fairly small impact. That is because most of the population increase will be in Africa, which uses few fossil fuels.

What matters more for future warming is the carbon intensity, the amount of carbon emissions produced for each dollar of economic activity. That value has dropped in recent decades as countries boost efficiency and enact standards to reduce carbon emissions. How quickly that value drops in future decades will be crucial for determining future warming.

“Overall, the goals expressed in the Paris Agreement are ambitious but realistic,” Raftery said. “The bad news is they are unlikely to be enough to achieve the target of keeping warming at or below 1.5 degrees.”

What Impact will this type of climate change have for Ireland?

-Ocean acidification will have harmful effects on marine organisms and has the potential to disrupt global marine ecosystems. Enjoy that Irish salmon while you can!

-There will be more intense storms and rainfall events, increased likelihood and magnitude of river and coastal flooding and water shortages in summer in the east. Approximately 60% of the population are living within 10km of the coast. Areas of soft coastline, especially in the east, are under severe threat from erosion and flooding. Some areas have already been experiencing damage from flooding e.g. Clonmel, Co. Tipperary has suffered from periodic extreme flooding since 2000.

-There will be altered agricultural practices, especially crop growing, to cope with weather changes. Anyone want to start growing grapes for wine? Ireland can be the new Spain!

But overall, these changes are thought to bring milder winters and warmer summers.

We here in Ireland will have an easy time of it compared to other places on earth. In fact, if we cope with changes and fast, we could adapt to climate changes to get ahead. As long as we don’t own a house on the seafront. If you do, it is time to abandon it and get a place on Carrauntoohil.


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