Rising Sea Levels
A Danger for Ireland

The scene at 8am on Jan. 10 in Bundoran as the tide continued to breach the wall.

By Patricia Harty, Editor-in-Chief
February / March 2015

In a global warming special on RTÉ’s environment series Eco Eye, experts warned about the catastrophic dangers of climate change on Ireland. They predicted that rising sea levels would bring significant coastal damage and the extinction of many plant and animal species, and large areas of country could disappear into the ocean.

The show’s presenter Duncan Stewart travels to Iceland to investigate how its melting glaciers are contributing to the rise in sea levels.

Dr. Barry Dwyer, an environmental scientist with the Coastal Marine Research Centre at the Irish Naval Headquarters, said that two percent of Dublin could be swallowed by the sea, along with more than three percent of northern counties.

“The big problem is storm surges that we have in Ireland with sea level rises, and then add another storm surge on top of that and that becomes a two-meter storm surge,” Dwyer said.

“In the more northerly counties we are looking at up to 3.5 percent of the entire land area being inundated, and that doesn’t account for the big wash that would come off the storm surge and the destruction from that.”

As we went to press, Ireland’s worst storms in 15 years wreaked havoc on coastal and inland communities with devastating floods and gales.

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