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Climate Change

Climate change refers to long-term changes in the earth’s weather patterns or average temperature. Interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, ice sheets, land masses and vegetation create the climate system. Changes in climate can arise naturally from long-term cycles in the earth’s orbit. El Niño/La Niña events, in which interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere cause temperature changes lasting a number of years is another example of natural variability. Since the mid-nineteenth century a rise has occurred in the average global temperature; the rate of change in recent times cannot be explained by natural causes alone. This has be shown by running sophisticated computer models of the earth’s climate system, known as earth system models, which only reproduce observed rises in temperature when the effects due greenhouse gases and aerosols are included [1].

Further Reading, Links and References

  1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013: available at
  2. Nolan, P. 2015. EPA Report: Ensemble of Regional Climate Model Projections for Ireland. EPA climate change research report no. 159. EPA: Wexford.
  3. O’Sullivan, J., Sweeney, C., Nolan, P. and Gleeson, E., 2015. A high-resolution, multi-model analysis of Irish temperatures for the mid-21st century. International Journal of Climatology. doi: 10.1002/joc.4419.
  4. Gleeson, E., McGrath, R. & M, Treanor, eds. 2013. Ireland’s climate: the road ahead. Dublin, Ireland: Met Éireann [Online].
  5. Nolan, P., O’Sullivan, J., & McGrath, R. (2017). Impacts of climate change on mid‐twenty‐first‐century rainfall in Ireland: a high‐resolution regional climate model ensemble approach. International Journal of Climatology.
  6. Dwyer N. 2012. The Status of Ireland’s Climate, 2012. Dwyer N (ed). CCRP Report No. 26. EPA, Wexford, Ireland.
  7. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) available at
  8. Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) available at
  9. Caffarra, A., F. Zottele, E. Gleeson, and A. Donnelly. “Spatial Heterogeneity in the Timing of Birch Budburst in Response to Future Climate Warming in Ireland.” International Journal of Biometeorology 58, no. 4 (September 15, 2014): 509–19. doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0720-5.
  10. McCarthy, G., E. Gleeson, and S. Walsh. “The Influence of Ocean Variations on the Climate of Ireland.” Weather 70, no. 8 (2015): 242–245. doi: 10.1002/wea.2543.

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