Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Climate is Northern Ireland's biggest environmental concern

Climate change has become the biggest environmental concern for the Northern Ireland public — as it emerged that temperatures have risen by 1.5C since the 20th century.

Figures published yesterday in the latest state of the environment report revealed that rainfall patterns are also changing, with the proportion of rainfall falling in winter increasing, while summer rain drops.

Climate records show that both minimum and maximum temperatures in Northern Ireland are up by around 1.5C since the start of the 20th century, according to the second annual NI Environmental Statistic Report (NIESR).

The report shows how our environment is changing. It said air quality has shown some improvements in recent years and most measures lie within national air quality objective, while 2007’s greenhouse gas emissions were 13% lower than in 1990.

Levels of public concern about climate change have rocketed from 19% to 37% in five years, making it the biggest environmental concern for the Northern Ireland public.

Out of 24 monitored bathing beaches, two failed to meet the mandatory compliance standards set out in the EU Bathing Water Directive.

Meanwhile, just eight of the 27 marine water bodies around our shores are classified as high or good using the Water Framework directive classification.

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