Almost a fifth of properties in Louth at risk of coastal flooding by 2050

A total of 11,248 properties in Louth could be impacted by coastal flooding as a result of climate changes by 2050.

That’s according to a new study from Gamma Location Intelligence, which provides map and data analysis to insurance companies and local authorities for risk assessment purposes.

Their report, released today, has revealed that more than 70,000 Irish addresses will be at heightened risk of coastal flooding by 2050 as a result of climate change. Some 88% of these addresses are residential, amounting to approximately 62,000 homes.

Louth is expected to be the second worst affected county after Dublin where 23,435 properties are at risk, comprising of 21,513 residential addresses and 1,922 commercial properties.

In Louth, Gamma Location Intelligence estimates that some 10,280 residential and 968 commercial properties could be impacted over the course of the next 30 years. This is significantly higher than other counties in the top five such as Clare (8,696), Limerick (5,426) and Galway (4,501).

However, in terms of the proportion of addresses that are expected to be affected, Louth will be the worst with 19% of its addresses due to be impacted. The next highest is Clare (13.3%). In contrast, only 3.9% of Dublin’s addresses will be at risk.

A map showing the impacted areas of the county

These findings are based on a predicted global temperature increase of 2˚C, which climate scientists expect to happen in the next 30 years in some scenarios. This increase would cause sea levels to rise and bring about more extreme weather events, leading to higher and more frequent coastal flooding.

Gamma Location Intelligence mapped out the impact of this temperature increase utilising the Digital Terrain Model within its Perilfinder software platform. This solution assesses location risk for properties including flooding, fire, subsidence and crime.

Breakdown by county and address type for areas due to be affected:

It is estimated that the cost of climate change, influenced by sea level rise, on property in Ireland will be approximately €2 billion.

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.”

For more information, check out this report by Gamma Location Intelligence.