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“Maynooth University Research Warns Against Ireland’s Intense Sun Exposure”

DUBLIN: A new study from the Hamilton Institute at the University of Maynooth warns that Ireland must brace itself for increasingly extreme weather conditions, including severe heatwaves. The report highlights significant changes in Ireland’s climate, predicting occurrences of extreme heat, cold, and fluctuating rainfall.

The study, based on the frequency, magnitude, and spatial extent of extreme summer temperatures in Ireland, reveals a startling trend. Historically, Ireland experienced a temperature extreme of 34 degrees Celsius once every 1,600 years. However, this frequency has now increased to once every 28 years. In 1942, such extreme temperatures were a once-in-180-year event; by 2020, this had become a once-in-nine-year occurrence.

Ireland has never recorded a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature recorded in the past century was 33 degrees Celsius, reached last year in Phoenix Park. The all-time high of 33.3 degrees Celsius was recorded at Kilkenny Castle in 1887.

The study also notes significant fluctuations in summer temperatures in recent years. For instance, the coldest June since 2015 had average temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius, while June 2023 was the hottest, with an average temperature of 16.22 degrees Celsius. Additionally, rainfall in the past month was below the normal average.

The research was led by Professor Jonathan Towne of Lancaster University and the ICARUS Climate Research Centre at the University of Maynooth, along with Dr. Andrew Parnell and Dr. Dara Healy. The study aims to predict extreme hot weather events in Ireland and emphasises the profound implications these climate changes will have on public health, agriculture, economic stability, and infrastructure resilience.

Professor Parnell stated that the study’s purpose is to provide the government with the necessary insights to prepare and adapt to these changes. The findings offer an opportunity for proactive measures to mitigate the impact of extreme weather on the country.

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