Climate change: Lough Neagh temperature rises ‘alarmingly’

The water temperature in Lough Neagh is rising “alarmingly fast” researchers have said.

The temperature in the largest freshwater body of water in the UK and Ireland is 1C higher than in 1995.

A report also said more than twice as much carbon was stored in ground around the lough as previously thought.

The Lough Neagh Partnership (LNP) commissioned the study as it took up a lease on land on the south-west shoreline, with a view to restoring it.

Many peatlands around the lough have been milled over the years for compost and fuel.

The Climate Change Impact and Carbon Storage Study took core samples round the entire shoreline of the lough to assess the carbon stored there.

In some cases, those samples went 9m down below grass fields.

The report revealed a total of more than 14 million tonnes of carbon stored in the catchment area.

“Previously our best estimate of carbon stored in the Lough Neagh catchment area was about 6.6 million tonnes,” said report author Jim McAdam.

“We got that from the surface soil maps that were done in the 1990s. In this study, we looked at the actual depth of the carbon itself, and we’ve come out with our calculation of carbon.”

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