Derry’s “Climate Conference”

By Paul Homewood


More news you can “trust” from the BBC!


A Northern Ireland council has become the region’s first to look at ways of mitigating the effects of climate change.

It is being run by Derry City and Strabane Council, which saw serious flooding in the summer of 2017.

One hundred people had to be rescued in the north west as two thirds of August’s rainfall came down in nine hours.

Bridges crumbled, cars were washed away and homes and businesses destroyed.

Now experts from London, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland are gathering to offer advice on how to cope with future events.

The conference will examine the council’s emergency planning to see how it might be improved.

But it will also look at use of public spaces to mitigate the effects of flooding and other climate change conditions.

The council owns 230 public spaces in the district.

One of them is Culmore Point Park on the banks of the Foyle.

For more than 30 years it was the city dump, taking thousands of tonnes of domestic rubbish.

It has now been closed, capped and turned into a public park and nature reserve.

But it has also been engineered to provide salt marsh and mud flat habitat for breeding waders.

But the lagoons also double as a sink for sea water during high tide and storm surges which prevents seawater moving up the Foyle and causing problems in the city.

The idea of such so-called "green infrastructure" is to provide a network of interlinked spaces that can be used by the public, whilst simultaneously creating wildlife habitat and helping to manage climate change risk.

The council effort to address climate change predates the 2017 floods.


As we all know, there never used to be floods in Northern Ireland!


The Met Office confirm that rainfall in the area peaked at 61.6mm at Lough Fea, which is about two thirds of the average for the month.





But how unusual is this?

The daily rainfall record for N Ireland is way above the Lough Fea event, and was set in 1968, when 159mm fell at Tollymore.



The Met Office monthly report in 1968 indicated that the rainfall was particularly heavy and widespread across the north of England and Scotland as well:



Across N Ireland as a whole, rainfall on 31st October 1968 averaged 52.57mm, the second highest on the record dating back to 1931. By contrast, on the day of the Derry floods in 2017, the average for N Ireland was just 25.1mm:



Indeed the late 1960s were notable for exceptionally heavy rainfall in the Province. The wettest day there was 15th August 1970, and it was also very wet in Nov 1969.









Note that the exceptionally heavy rainfall in August 1970 severely affected other parts of the UK as well.


Northern Ireland simply has not had such rainfall since.


Climate Conference?


In fact, the BBC is being rather devious by describing the event as a “Climate Conference”.

The conference blurb reveals that it is really about “green infrastructure”, in other words the provision of green spaces and waterways.

One particular aspect is the rewilding of low lying areas, which can be used as flood defences. labelling it as “climate resilience” will no doubt attract funding, but it has nothing to do with “climate” at all.


March 14, 2019 at 09:09AM

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