Climate change is one of the most critical crises facing humanity today. Climate disruption is already having diverse and wide-ranging impacts on Ireland’s environment, society, economic and natural resources. It is changing where people, plants and animals can safely live, and the recent media and policy focus on climate emergency and action is to be welcomed.
But how can we understand climate change? How can we capture data that will help us predict how our atmosphere and planet will change in the near future? How can we plan for those changes, and alter our policies and behaviours around the energy we use and the actions we take?
This is where research comes in. Science and technology can help meet climate change challenges through innovation, and by creating products, processes and services that aim to reduce the severe impacts of man-made activities on natural ecosystems and quality of life. Research in this area mainly serves to better understand the impact of climate change and to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Around Ireland, SFI-funded researchers are analysing climate – its inputs, its changes and its effects – and exploring ways to tackle climate change and plan for more sustainable futures.
Why is Ireland a useful place to carry out climate research?
Ireland’s position offers a unique opportunity to monitor air quality and atmospheric changes at the boundary of Europe and the North Atlantic. Ireland is also a relatively small country, and so can be a useful testbed for evaluating how effective new approaches and technologies are to address climate change. With this unique geography, industry base and research ecosystem, Ireland is exceptionally positioned to play a strong role in addressing the global challenges of climate change.
How does SFI support climate research?
SFI funds a number of research projects that are focused on driving discovery and technological innovation that will enable society to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This research is carried out by large-scale, world-leading SFI Research Centres, and by individual researchers leading smaller teams.
From monitoring the impact of climate change on coasts, oceans and pollinators, to carbon capture and reuse, to reducing methane emissions in grazing dairy cows, SFI funds research that aims to better understand the changes that are happening to our world and climate.
For more see https://www.sfi.ie/