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The Irish American Climate Project produced research which suggested that climate change could cause the country’s “rich, green scenery” to “fade to brown” and that changes have already occurred.

It pointed out that mean temperatures over the last two decades in the country have risen at a rate much higher than the global average for the period and that rainfall in Donegal is up 30% over the last century.

John Sweeney, one of the lead scientists for the report and former president of the Irish Meteorological Society, explained: “Climate change has the potential to change the face of Ireland and to transform its environment.

“Changes in temperature, rainfall and storm patterns can subtly yet irrevocably alter the Irish way of life.”

In particular, the report warned that climate change could lead to water shortages in the country and also increase the frequency of “bog bursts”.

“Despite the fact that Ireland is renowned for its steady rains, it is deeply ironic that we may face significant seasonal water shortages as a consequence of climate change,” Dr Rowan Fealy concluded.

James Cooper

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