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The waves crash over the pier at Kilkee. Photograph by John Kelly.

Coastal flooding could hit 13.3% of Clare addresses by 2050

GAMMA Location Intelligence, which provides map and data analysis to insurance companies and local authorities for risk assessment purposes, has revealed that 7,376 Clare homes and 1,320 commercial premises are at heightened risk of coastal flooding by 2050, due to climate change.

In absolute terms Clare would be the county with the third highest amount of addresses affected,behind Louth and Dublin, but in terms of the proportion at risk it would be second highest, at 13.3%, only behind Louth.

The findings are based on a predicted global temperature increase of two degrees celsius. This increase would cause sea levels to rise and bring about more extreme weather events, leading to higher and more frequent coastal flooding.

Richard Cantwell, Senior Spatial Data Scientist, Gamma Location Intelligence, said: “Global warming is already having an impact on our daily lives, but the effects of it will become more tangible and extreme in the years to come.

“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 carbon dioxide emissions are reduced which will help to delay the process.

“Of course, the situation that is unfolding across the globe due to the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a drop in carbon emissions over recent weeks with flights grounded, businesses closed and less pollution. Whether this decrease will continue when lockdown measures are eased remains to be seen.

“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.”

About Owen Ryan

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Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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