We’ll Have to Change Way we Live Due to Shift in Climate

Feb 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Adaptation, Adaptation Ideas

NWS_2014-02-06_NEW_001_30566601_I1Major changes in how we live our lives are needed to cope with the worst effects of global warming and avoid widespread contamination of groundwater, damage to property and loss of our native species.

A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that thousands of homes are at risk in coastal communities from winter storms and that climate change could result in some parts of the country being swept away by raging seas.

It comes as thousands of homeowners and businesses begin counting the cost of the devastating floods which have struck in recent days.

Met Eireann has warned of further heavy rainfall and a return to storm conditions by the weekend and there are fears that rivers across the country will burst their banks following two months of prolonged rainfall.

Experts now say that adopting a “wait and see” approach to preparing for the worst of climate change is “not an option”. The Government needs to set “clear targets” to reduce emissions and begin preparing to cope with extreme weather.

The report by the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Unit in NUI Maynooth says new regulations are needed to produce buildings that are capable of withstanding driving rain and winter storms.

The ‘Co-ordination, Communication and Adaptation for Climate Change in Ireland: an Integrated Approach (COCOADAPT)’ report also says that drinking water sources will be contaminated unless septic tanks are banned in vulnerable areas and warns that water shortages will affect all parts of the country, but particularly the south.

It adds that the counties most at risk of flooding are Cork, Dublin, Galway, Mayo and Waterford. Kerry, Mayo and Wicklow are at risk of landslides, while a lack of water is likely to be most pronounced in Cork, Roscommon and Wicklow.

The threat of coastal erosion is “high” in Cork, Galway, Kerry and Mayo, with sea-level rises likely to affect people living in Clare, Galway, Kerry and Sligo.

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