An Irish weather forecaster has revealed that he fears for his children and grandchildren because of the world that this generation is leaving behind.
Ger Fleming of RTÉ believes that climate change will hit Ireland hard for future generations.
RTÉ show Science Squad predicted that Ireland would be hit with extreme weather conditions over the next 50 years. The country is likely to see intense heatwaves, ferocious storms and several floods.
Fleming told Science Squad: “In my lifetime, in what I’ve left to me on this Earth, I will probably see some changes, but my children [really will] see changes and my grandchildren will see big changes.
“I’m concerned we’re not leaving the generations following us — these are people alive now, not some people far in the future — the same sort of pleasant atmosphere and climate that we’ve enjoyed in the later part of the 20th and first part of the 21st century.
“Some of the changes that are going to happen now, we’ve gone beyond the point where we can reverse them, and we need to learn how to live with them.”
Being at the very west of Europe, Ireland is the first line of defence against the fierce Atlantic Ocean. Last year coastlines on the west of Ireland were battered by Atlantic storms for two months.
Fleming said: “We had eight major storms from mid-December to mid-February. If we look at the rainfall for the winter months, it was record-breaking in many parts of the country.”
Science Squad also heard from Frank McGovern, the head of climate change research at the Environmental Protection Agency.
McGovern said: “Things are going to get warmer and wetter. We could experience very intense heatwaves which causes all sorts of problems in terms of difficulty with animals on farms and difficulty for humans vulnerable to extremes.
“We are going to get more intense rainfall, particularly in the winter months and we see changes of up to 20% occurring, which is a really massive increase in what is already a wet season for us.”
McGovern warned people who believe that climate change would result in long hot summers that Ireland will never have a Mediterranean climate.
Rather than such idyllic settings, the country was heading for a worst-case scenario and needs to curb greenhouse gas emmissions.
He said: “We have to move onto a pathway of low emissions and reduced reliance on fossil energy, and to where we manage our land [in such a way as to] enhance uptake of carbon from the atmosphere, [so that] by 2050, a country like Ireland will effectively be carbon neutral.”