Climate change: Positioning Ireland, positioning geography


  • John Sweeney National University of Ireland Maynooth



The exposed location of Ireland has always rendered it vulnerable to weather and climate extremes. Awareness that future climate change will pose a complex mix of impacts necessitates strategic thinking on how best adaptation to future conditions can be achieved for Ireland. This extended introduction to seven papers examines how different perspectives and tools can be brought to bear on the problem. First, a historical context is needed to learn from past mistakes and inform future strategy. Current uncertainties are then addressed with reference to hydrological modelling where the need to act in advance of scientific certainty is emphasised. Analytical techniques involving satellite remote sensing and climate envelope modelling are then shown to have considerable utility for managing valuable habitats and biodiversity change. Weaknesses in governance systems are highlighted with reference to the Cork floods of November 2009, and at a local government level, where an urgent need for leadership at a central government level to drive the climate change agenda is identified. The interdisciplinary position of geography is seen to offer many advantages to contribute to progress in the climate change arena.

Author Biography

John Sweeney, National University of Ireland Maynooth

Department of Geography



How to Cite

Sweeney, J. (2014). Climate change: Positioning Ireland, positioning geography. Irish Geography, 44(1), 1–5.


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