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Milestone in Irish weather and climate observations: Recognition of Met Éireann’s Valentia Observatory as a Centennial Station by the World Meteorological Organisation

Published on Friday, 16 Feb 2018
Met Éireann

The World Meteorological Organization has awarded Valentia Observatory a certificate of accreditation as a Centennial Station in acknowledgement of over 100 years of high quality continuous meteorological observationsPresident of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will visit Valentia Observatory, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry on Saturday, 17th February 2018 to commemorate this.  The President will visit between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm and unveil a plaque marking the achievement.

“Valentia Meteorological and Geophysical Observatory is a strategic part of the national Meteorological infrastructure – which has been ‘taking the pulse of the planet’ every day for more than 150 years as part of a global effort to forecast the weather and monitor our climate.    Met Éireann is delighted that the World Meteorological Organisation has recognised Valentia for its irreplaceable long-term record of weather observations. The work carried out at Valentia represents a highly significant national contribution to the science of meteorology and our capacity to forecast the weather and assess changes in the state of the Earth’s climate.

The scientific value of Valentia’s weather observations to forecasting and our understanding of climate change will continue to serve future generations as we face the challenge of managing the risks of extreme weather and climate change.” says Eoin Moran, Director of Met Éireann.

Apart from regular meteorological observations, Valentia Observatory also carries out several geophysical and environmental monitoring programmes from measuring the ozone concentration high up in the atmosphere to seismic waves under the Earth’s surface.

“Valentia has contributed immensely towards the international efforts in monitoring and collaborative research which has resulted in the successful recovery of ozone hole in the stratosphere.  The phenology garden which was established in the 1960s has provided long term records of seasonal changes in growing patterns of trees in the context of changing climate.” says Dr. Saji Varghese, Head of Research in Met Éireann.

Furthermore, Valentia’s geomagnetic recordings date back to 1888 and it is one of the oldest in the world. It also has produced Ireland’s longest record for atmospheric Sulphur pollution. Recently, to complement the existing air pollution monitoring programme, state of the art instruments have been deployed in the new Valentia Island site to measure greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles.

The high quality, continuous meteorological and geophysical data records are very valuable for weather forecasting and in predicting our environment.  It will enable researchers in determining the status of our climate and in addressing environmental issues and thus helping in developing mitigation/adaptation strategies.

Ends

For further information on Valentia Observatory, contact:  Valentia Geophysical and Meteorological Observatory, Met Éireann, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry.
Tel:     +353-66-9473460
Email: charles.gillman@met.ie, michael.gill@met.ie

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