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Climate change in Ireland: More heatwaves, less snow and heavier rain

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Latest model simulations can provide very precise indicators of our climate

Waterville, Co Kerry: There will be more frequent summer heatwave events, especially in the south. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) keeps asking the question: what will the future climate be like under several different emission scenarios?

In a regular series of reports from as far back as 1990, scientists have been giving the same answer: the more greenhouse gases we emit, the warmer the world will get. The repetition is getting boring. The only difference over the past 30 years is that as the data builds up, as the science progresses, as the models get better and computers get more powerful, there is more confidence and more detail in that answer.

What was “likely” just a few years ago is now “virtually certain”, to the point where UN secretary general António Guterres called the latest AR6 report “A code red for humanity”. It found that human activities have unequivocally warmed the Earth’s climate across the entire planet, and that these changes are widespread, rapid, and intensifying.

Advances in both climate science and supercomputing have enabled the continuous improvement of climate models. In 1990 climate simulations could […]

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