Global Warming Could Turn Emerald Isle Brown
Image courtesy of atomicpuppy68 via flickr
The fabled luck of the Irish may be running out: Coinciding with St. Patrick's Day, a new report released yesterday by the Irish American Climate Project, appropriately named "Changing Shades of Green," predicts global warming will significantly alter the Emerald Isle's culture and environment. Kevin Sweeney, an environmental consultant who directed the project, spoke to Reuters' Deborah Zabarenko about the likely consequences, explaining that the most visible effect would be the browning of the country's "lush greens":
"People can raise their children, they can make a living, they can find sustenance in Ireland, but it will look and feel and be different. And that's the subtlety we want to explain here. We don't want to project that this is catastrophe. What it is, is it's heartbreaking." Some of the findings outlined in the report include:
- The loss of the quintessentially Irish potato as an important commercial crop as a result of harsh droughts;- Large differences in rainfall: up to 12% more during the winters and up to 12% less during the summers;- The southeast may develop elements of a Mediterranean climate;- More frequent bog bursts, which occur when heat lifts peat bogs and sends them sliding down hillsides
As Sweeney acknowledges, this is nothing compared to what will likely befall many developing countries - particularly those in Africa - which could see mass famine and drought; however, seeing as Irish culture is prevalent across the Anglo-Saxon world, it would be a tragedy to see the country lose much of its luster.
Via ::Reuters: Climate change could turn Ireland's green to brown (news website)