Century forecast: Scorching summers and winter floods

Irish summers could reach extreme highs of more than 35C by the end of this century, a report on climate change from Met Éireann has claimed.

In Ireland’s Climate: the Road Ahead, the meteorological service predicts that summer temperatures could rise 2C-5C and could be much drier depending on the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

It warned that the rise could lead to more deaths among elderly and frail people due to heat stress.

However, those same people may be less in danger during the winter than at present because the average night-time temperatures in the colder months could rise between 2C and 4C.

However, that comes with a proviso. Globally, it is expected that average temperatures could rise by an average of up to 5.4% over the century, leading to an accelerated loss of Arctic sea ice cover.

According to Met Éireann, that would increase the likelihood of cold continental air outbreaks over Ireland counteracting some of the temperature increase.

There is bad news for the areas of the country which have been so badly hit by flooding in recent years.

Even by the middle of this century, the risk of winter flooding is likely to be much higher as Met Éireann predicts an increase of up to 14% in precipitation under the high emission scenarios. Summers, though, could be up to 20% drier than now.

Winds are likely to increase in strength by up to 8% in the winter months and ease by up to 14% during the summer months.