OVERNIGHT FLOODING in Cork, Belfast and elsewhere, along with the misery and financial loss it caused to householders and businesses, is again in the headlines, this time in mid-summer. The situation is expected to deteriorate in coming years as extreme weather events are predicted to be more frequent. Minimising the impact of global warming by way of flood management and storm-surge measures are of critical importance while, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of low carbon technologies and renewable energies.
The Environment Protection Agency has compiled an unambiguous report on what to expect. Starting from the premise that Ireland's climate has already changed, with higher temperatures and more intense and frequent rainfall, it predicts a rise in sea levels and a greater number of storm surges, along with more intense storms and rainfall events that will cause river and coastal flooding. That prognosis requires careful planning and sustained Government investment.