Global warming is increasing storms

The risk of extreme storms on the west coast has risen by 25% as a direct result of human-induced global warming, a world-renowned climate change expert has claimed.

Professor of Geosystem Science in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford Myles Allen made the calculation as part of the CLIMATT research project at UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI).

The research, which also involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and international experts in this area including Prof Allen will examine if extreme weather events in Ireland in recent years can be directly attributed to climate change.

The winter of 2015/2016 was the wettest on record in many parts of Ireland, while last October saw the highest daily rainfall record at Valentia Observatory in Kerry since records began there 1866.

Ahead of a talk he will give at the ERI next Monday as part of the UCC Climate CoLab Seminar Series, Prof Allen said it was now possible to understand extreme weather events and examine whether they are connected to climate change.

“We have been predicting warmer and wetter winters for over 25 years,” he said.

“Now data collected from thousands of homes over the last 10 years has made it possible for us to datamine and research extreme weather patterns and events, so we can understand if these events are linked to climate change.

“Normal weather, unchanged over generations, is a thing of the past. We are going to have to use climate simulations to work out what the weather will be like, and how the infrastructure should be applied to manage the weather in the next 50 years.”

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