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Flooding in Cork Photo by: Paulsavage.eu

Extreme coastal flooding in Ireland predicted as Irish Sea levels rise

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Flooding in Cork Photo by: Paulsavage.eu

New research finds that the Irish Sea’s level will rise 18.5 inches by the end of this century and floods along the East Coast will be far more frequent.

Researchers compared the flooding the coastal areas would experience to the flooding usually associated with storm surges such as the disastrous flooding seen in County Cork in 2009.

Published by the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway’s Ryan Institute, the research predicts more extreme coastal flooding in Dublin and other vulnerable coastal urban areas in Britain and Ireland. The study also shows that the sea surface temperature will increase by 35.7F.

Speaking to the Irish Times Dr Mike Harnett, of the Ryan Institute said the latest results confirm previous “tentative” studies. The researchers used 3D hydrodynamic modeling technology to predict these changes.

He said “Future changes to oceanographic parameters, flushing times and hydrodynamics of the Irish Sea are likely to alter the habitat and distribution of marine species.”

“The Irish Sea, being semi-enclosed, has a unique and complex geography which influences its currents.”

Harnett explained that the temperature increase would have an effect on ecosystems, fishing and sea transport. However he said the temperature increase in the western Irish Sea would be weaker.

Similarly earlier this week Met Eireann (Ireland meteorological service) published figure stating the temperature in Ireland had increased by 0.75C in the past 20 years. They also found that Ireland is five percent wetter than 30 years ago.

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