Ireland's rich, green scenery may fade to brown, its potato crop may again whither, and the island's classic soft rains may turn harsh if climate change continues unabated. Heavy rains in some parts of the island could lead to serious erosion. And bog bursts — when masses of peat slide down slopes like a California mudslide — are expected to be more common.
These findings are outlined in our report, Changing Shades of Green: The environmental and cultural impacts of climate change in Ireland. The report is based on the latest work of leading Irish climate scientists, and was issued in conjunction with ICARUS, the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units.
Despite these findings, we take an upbeat tone, suggesting that celebrations are in order on and around St. Patrick's Day. We celebrate Irish culture. We celebrate the Irish landscape in all its rich, green beauty. And we celebrate the fact that it's not too late to stave off the worst of these projected impacts. Those who wish to keep Ireland green have a role to play, and it starts with making our own green choices — at home, at work, in our communities and when we vote.
This report was released, in the US and Ireland, in 2008.