More than 70,000 Irish addresses under threat from coastal flooding by 2050

21 May 2020448 Views

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More than 70,000 addresses across Ireland are at risk of coastal flooding by 2050 as a result of the climate crisis, according to new analysis.

By 2050, the coasts of Ireland could be noticeably different from today, leaving many people facing severe coastal flooding. New data released by Gamma Location Intelligence has predicted that more than 70,000 addresses will be at heightened risk of flooding by 2050, brought on by the impact of the climate crisis.

Of that number, 88pc are residential, amounting to approximately 62,000 homes. The most at-risk county is Dublin, where some 23,435 properties are predicted to be affected, including 21,500 homes. This is followed by Louth (11,248 properties), Clare (8,696), Limerick (5,426) and Galway (4,501).

However, in terms of the proportion of addresses expected to be affected, Louth will be the most at-risk with 19pc of addresses in the county potentially impacted. By contrast, Gamma said that only 3.9pc of addresses in Dublin will be affected.

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The findings were based on the assumption of a two degrees Celsius increase in global temperature by 2050, which global efforts are trying to prevent. In addition to coastal flooding, such an increase would see more regular extreme weather events.

Map of Ireland showing points on the map where coastal flooding will be an issue.

Map showing the most at-risk areas of coastal flooding in Ireland. Image: Gamma Location Intelligence

Flood risk ‘will increase exponentially’

Speaking of the findings, Gamma Location Intelligence’s senior spatial data scientist, Richard Cantwell, said: “With increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising, which means flooding will become more commonplace. This will have a major impact on many Irish counties, particularly along the coast, and a significant number of properties are set to be affected – unless CO2 emissions are reduced which will help to delay the process.

“In any event, such data is vital as homeowners, local authorities and insurance companies start to plan for the future. Flood risk is one that will increase exponentially, so it’s vital that the necessary infrastructure is in place to cater for the changing Irish landscape.”

Updated, 12.45pm, 21 May 2020: A previous version of this article said that more than 70,000 homes are predicted to be at risk of coastal flooding. This was updated to clarify that more than 70,000 addresses, including 62,000 homes, are predicted to be at risk.

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com