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Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# the explainer
The Explainer: What do the recent extreme temperatures tell us about future Irish summers?
How frequent will heatwaves become, and how quickly can we turn the tide?

AN UNPRECEDENTED HEATWAVE has brought record temperatures to many parts of Europe.

And no, it’s not like 1976.

Spain has recorded as many as 500 heat-related deaths to date; London Fire Brigade experienced its busiest day since World War Two; a drought in Italy has led to severe water shortages for farmers, with the iconic Po River running so low that seawater has moved inland and impacted crops.

While Ireland’s warm spell was short-lived compared to previous years, the country wasn’t left completely unscathed, with a record-high temperature recorded in Dublin.

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that this type of extreme weather is becoming more frequent and pronounced due to the impacts of climate change. So what does it mean for the future?

This week on The Explainer we speak to Peter Thorne, a climate change professor at Maynooth University and a coordinating lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to explore this further.

What type of temperatures could we experience, how frequent will they become, and is Irish infrastructure prepared for it? Also, how quickly could we turn the tide if effective action was taken on global emissions?

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Michelle Hennessy, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan, with a special thank you to Emer Moreau and Stephen McDermott.

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