Climate Change Overview

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Ireland's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications are derived from the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which divides climates into five main climate groups divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter).  Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Ireland's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Ireland is situated off the north-west coast of the continent of Europe between longitude 5.5° and 10.5° West and latitude 51.5° and 55.5° North and comprises 70,282 square kilometers. The greatest length of the island from the north to the south is 486 kilometers and the greatest width, from east to west, is 275 kilometers. There are 3,172 kilometers of coastline. The island consists of a large central lowland of limestone with a relief of hills and a number of coastal mountains, the highest of which, Carrantuohill, is 1,040m. Its population is 4.8 million. 

Ireland has a mild temperate oceanic climate, due to the controlling influence of the Atlantic Ocean. Mean annual temperatures generally range between 9°C and 10°C with the higher values in coastal regions. Summer is the warmest season, followed by Autumn, Spring and Winter. The highest temperatures occur inland during the summer, with mean seasonal maxima between 18°C and 20°C while highest values occur in coastal regions during the Winter. July is the warmest month, followed by August and June; the coldest month is January followed closely by February and then December.

Ireland’s climate is changing in line with global trends. Future changes are projected for temperature, precipitation, sea level rise and extreme events. Such changes will impact on all natural and managed systems, water resources, agriculture and food security, human health, and coastal infrastructures and zones. Climate change will have diverse and wide ranging impacts on Ireland’s environment, society and economic development, including managed and natural ecosystems, water resources, agriculture and food security, human health and coastal zones. 

Sufficient robust information now exists nationally to further progress the process of implementing adaptation actions and increasing social, economic and environmental resilience to climate change. Ireland is at the early stages of developing climate resilience; however there has been progress to date in building Ireland’s levels of climate resilience through capacity building measures, improvements in the research and knowledge base, increased awareness of climate change and mainstreaming of adaptation relevant measures into a number of key national policies (flood risk management and spatial planning).