Elevated sea-level rise in Dublin higher than predicted due to climate change, study finds

An analysis of trends in Dublin Bay over eight decades has confirmed the sea-level is rising faster than expected – at approximately double the rate of global sea-level rise.

The recent trends for the capital are above what climate change models have predicted, leading scientists at Maynooth University to conclude local factors are contributing to the change.

They warn these will need to be identified, to ensure Dublin is adequately prepared for inevitable sea-level rise this century and beyond due to global warming and melting ice sheets.

The latest research led by the Hamilton Institute and ICARUS Climate Research Center has generated an updated sea level dataset for Dublin stretching from 1938 and to 2016. It confirms the capital is experiencing a similar trend to Cork.

Overall, the trend shown in the data corresponds to an estimated sea-level rise between 1953 and 2016 of 1.1 millimetres per year in Dublin, according to their research published in Ocean Science this week.

Yearly mean sea-level values ​​of Dublin Port, with Arklow and Howth Harbor for comparison. Graphic: Hamilton Institute and ICARUS Climate Research Center

“Fluctuations are identified with sea levels rising from 1982 to 1988, before falling from 1989 to 1996, and once again rising from 1997 to 2016 at a rate of 7 millimetres per year. This recent sea level rise is faster than expected at approximately double the rate of global sea-level rise,” said Amin Shoari Nejad, lead author of the study – a PhD student at the Hamilton Institute.

“Overall sea level rise is in line with expected trends but large multidecadal variability has led to higher rates of rise in recent years.”

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