Climate change rain warning

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen’s warning that the flooding crisis will get worse before it gets better is mirrored in a EU report on climate change.

The deluges which have been devastating the country will become much more common, weather scientists believe. Changes are already well under way with increases of up to 40% in the amount of rainfall recorded in parts of the country over the past 40 years.

The volume of water in rain is set to increase and the peak period of this country’s rainy season will be concentrated between December and February.

There will be longer periods of intense rain lasting days at a time, the experts predict in a report published by the European Environment Agency.

With rising sea levels, coastal flooding will also become a major problem especially in Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick. Because of this, flooding will significantly increase along the western seaboard, but less than in the south of the country.

The worst hit regions for rivers bursting their banks will be the west and midland counties followed by the south and east. The northern counties are predicted to fare better.

A separate report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre says global warming could cost EU countries up to €60 billion a year.

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