Much of the picture I have put together from the work of Ireland’s scientific research community is a sad or worrying one. This is, perhaps, because such research has to start with what we already know about the needs of existing wild species and their habitats. To match this against predicted climate change is often to come up with scenarios of loss, degradation - even extinction. The other half of the picture – new species, different landscapes and ecosystems – is so far beyond the present crisis as to challenge the imagination.
In the late spring that followed the harsh winter of 2009 -2010, the wild primroses in my Mayo garden made breathtaking cushions of bloom. Was this climate change? Who knows? We must learn, perhaps, to enjoy a natural world that - like Ireland’s weather - will be changing all the time.


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