Key Meteorological Indicators of climate change in Ireland

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Resource or Project Abstract

Evidence for an anthropogenic influence on climate change is now stronger than ever before, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR) assertion that ?Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are likely to have made a significant and substantial contribution to the warming observed over the second half of the 20th century? (IPCC, 2001a). Global average temperature has increased by 0.6 + 0.2oC since 1860, with a greater rate of warming apparent since the mid 1970s. 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.
The trends identified are largely consistent with global trends. The majority of the indicators do not, as yet, reveal significant change, although those that do are important. Ireland is warmer, with warmer nights and fewer cold days. The west, southwest and north are wetter, with more frequent rainfall and also more intense rainfall. More frequent and intense rainfall is important for river flood management and the engineering and infrastructure industries, while in summer, water shortages will impact upon reservoirs and soil management.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Laura McElwain
ICARUS Research Group

Dr. John Sweeney
ICARUS Research Group

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=29
Resource KeywordsIndicators dataset to include annual and seasonal mean temperature, seasonal maximum and minimum temperature, diurnal temperature range
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project CodeNot Applicable
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceUsage of the data is available to all users. By downloading and using the data you are accepting the data disclaimer for the data. Please familiarise yourself with this document below. In any publication outputs please cite the original producers and owners of this data correctly using the suggested citation information
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 0
Project Start Date Monday 3rd January 2005 (03-01-2005)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st January 1990 (01-01-1990)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 31st December 2005 (31-12-2005)
Published on SAFERTuesday 29th May 2007 (29-05-2007)
Date of Last EditTuesday 29th May 2007 at 14:38:29 (29-05-2007)
Datasets or Files Updated On Tuesday 29th May 2007 at 14:32:37 (29-05-2007)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
A number of synoptic and other stations from the Met Eireann climate database were used in this study. Long-term records from 1890 were available at Valentia, Birr, Malin Head and Armagh. In total, 13 station records are used in the analysis of the report) which cover all parts of Ireland.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Indicators of climate change give an overview of the climate and are primarily used to communicate more succinctly critical information regarding climate trends. An ERTDI funded project on climate change indicators and trends for Ireland (Climate Change - Indicators for Ireland, 2001) provided an initial first step in the creation of an indicators dataset. However there is a need to continually revise and update this analysis, and acquire an understanding of new findings and trends which become apparent regionally and globally.
Supplementary Information
Monthly temperature (1890-2005); Monthly precipitation (1890-2005); Daily temperature and precipitation (~1940-2005)

Indicators are created from this dataset to include annual and seasonal mean temperature, seasonal maximum and minimum temperature, diurnal temperature range, number of frost days, frost season length, heat and cold waves, annual and seasonal total precipitation, maximum number of consecutive wet and dry days, greatest 3-, 5- and 10-day rainfall totals, number of days when precipitation is greater than or equal to 10mm and number of events greater than the 90th percentile.
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://geography.nuim.ie/ICARUS/index.html (Opens in a new window)
  http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/climate/name,14449,en.html (Opens in a new window)

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