A Preliminary Investigation of Future Climate Scenarios for Ireland
Sweeney, John and Fealy, Rowan (2002) A Preliminary Investigation of Future Climate Scenarios for Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 102B (3). pp. 125-128. ISSN 0791-7945
Ongoing improvements in computing and in climate modelling now permit much more detailed climatic scenarios to be produced as an aid to potential impact assessment. We have employed a downscaling approach, using the UKCIP (UK Climate Impacts Programme) gridded climatology for Ireland at a 10km resolution to produce preliminary scenarios for temperature and precipitation for the year 2050. Warming of approximately 0.2OC per decade is indicated. Precipitation changes cannot yet be confidently predicted, though increases are likely during the winter months. Contradictory signals for changes in summer rainfall are evident from model output and circulation typing-based approaches. Increased soil moisture deficits are likely during summer, and increased wetness, is likely during winter, particularly in western Ireland. We make some preliminary comments on the implications of these changes for the natural environment and agricultural practices.
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