The historic record of cold spells in Ireland
This paper assesses the long historical climatological record of cold spells in Ireland stretching back to the 1st millennium BC. Over this time period cold spells in Ireland can be linked to solar output variations and volcanic activity both in Iceland and elsewhere. This provides a context for an exploration of the two most recent cold spells which affected Ireland in 2009_2010 and in late 2010 and were the two worst weather disasters in recent Irish history. These latter events are examined in this context and the role of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and declining Arctic sea-ice levels are also considered. These recent events with detailed instrumental temperature records also enable a re-evaluation of the historic records of cold spells in Ireland.
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