Prof John Sweeney

Geography, ICARUS


Laraghbryan House
(01) 708 3684


Emeritus Professor John Sweeney has been a member of the Geography Department at Maynooth University since 1978. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Glasgow in 1974 and also his PhD in the Meteorology and Climatology of Air Pollution from there in 1980. Over the intervening 42 years John has taught courses in climatology, biogeography, geomorphology and environmental resource management at Maynooth University and a number of universities in North America and Africa. He has published over 100 scientific papers and authored/ edited/co-authored 4 texts on various aspects of climatology and climate change in Ireland. He has served as President of the Irish Meteorological Society, the Geographical Society of Ireland and An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland. He has been Editor, Treasurer, Secretary of several national associations as well as being the Irish representative on a number of European academic bodies. He has been involved in a number of international research projects and has led a number of nationally funded research projects examining various aspects of climate change in Ireland.

Professor Sweeney contributed to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is also a regular contributor to print and broadcast media on matters related to climate change science and policy and received the inaugural award for achievements in journalism from the European Meteorological Society in 2014.

Research Interests

  • Climate Change
  • Climatology
  • Air Pollution

Funded Research

2012         Homogenisation of Irish Meteorological data (with Dr. John Coll) Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Research Programme.
2011         Current and Future Vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Ireland. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change Research Programme
2010         Coastal vulnerability mapping of the Dublin Bay area to future impacts of climate change. INFOMAR
2009         IMPACT – Integrated Management of forest Pests Addressing Climate Trends. Ireland-Wales EU Interreg Programme.

2009        European Interreg Programme
2008        Quantifying the cascade of uncertainty in climate change impacts in the  water sector. Science Foundation Ireland

2008        Research Programme, Co-ordination, Communication and Adaptation for Climate Change in Ireland: an Integrated Approach.Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change


  • Flood Studies Update Programme
    Office of Public Works
  • Impacts of climate change on agricultural pests and diseases in Ireland 
  • The impact of climate change on soil hydrology and degradation: an assessment of the vulnerabilities in Ireland 
    Science Foundation Ireland


  • Handling model uncertainty
    Environmental Protection Agency,
  • Decision Support Tools for Managing the Urban Environment
    Environmental Protection Agency,

2005      Climate Change: Developing a National Understanding.Environmental Protection Agency,

2003      Climate Change Extreme Frequency Analysis.Environmental Protection Agency,

2002      Climate Change: Refining the Impacts.Environmental Protection Agency


Academic Books/Monographs/Research Reports  

Sweeney, J. in authorship with...

2018 (with Coll, J., Curley, M., and Walsh, S. )HOMERUN: Relative Homogenisation of the Irish Precipitation Network , EPA Research Programme 2014–2020. Report  No. 242. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 43pp.

2013 (with Coll, J.).Current and future vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Ireland, Climate Change Research Programme (CCRP) 2007-2013, Report Series No. 29. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 40pp.

2013 (with Coll, J., Bourke, D., Gormally, M., Sheehy-Skeffington, M.).Winners and Losers: Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity in Ireland, Climate Change Research Programme (CCRP) 2007-2013, Report Series No. 19. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 32pp.​

2013 (with Bourke, D., Coll, J., Flood, S., Gormally, M., Hall, J., McGloughlin, J., Murphy, C., Salmon, N., Sheehy-Skeffington, M., Smyth,D) . COCOADAPT: Co-ordination, Communication and Adaptation for Climate Change in Ireland: An Integrated Approach. Climate Change Research Programme (CCRP) Report Series No. 30, Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford, Ireland. ISBN: 978-1-84095-523-1.

2012 (with Murphy, C. and Hall, J.)Robust Adaptation to Climate Change in the Water Sector in Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 38pp.

2008 (Editor) Climate Change in Ireland: Refining the Impacts, Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford,163pp.

2008 (with Fealy, R., Bates, R., McElwain, L. and Murphy, C.) The Science of Climate Change. Report prepared by the Climate Change Working Group of the Institute of European Affairs, Dublin. 

2008 (with Fischler, F., Edenhoffer, O., Foucald, J.B., Golser, K., Karski, L. Kromb-Kolb, H., Kreuter-Kirchof, C. van Ypersele, J.P. and Zamagni, S.)A Christian View on Climate Change. The Implications of Climate Change for Lifestyles and EU Policies. A Report to the Bishops of COMECE. Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, Brussels, 37pp.

2008 (with Sweeney, K, Fealy, R., McElwain, L., Siggins, L. and Trinies, V.)  Changing Shades of Green: The environmental and cultural impacts of climate change in Ireland,The Irish American Climate Project & Rockefeller Family Fund, 46pp.​

2007 (with L. McElwain) Implications of the EU Climate Protection Target for Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 25pp.

2007 (with L. McElwain)   Key Meteorological Indicators of Climate Change in Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 31pp.

2006 (with Fealy, R., Murphy, C., and McElwain, L.) The Isle of Man Climate Change Scoping Study: Technical Paper 4 Future Climate Change Scenarios and Impacts. Report prepared for Acclimatise and the Department of Local Government and the Environment, Isle of Man Government.

2006 (with Fealy, R., Murphy, C., and McElwain, L.) The Isle of Man Climate Change Scoping Study: Technical Paper 3 Climate Indicators. Climate Change: Indicators, Scenarios and Impacts for the Isle of Man.

2005 (with G. O’Hare and R. Wilby) Weather, Climate and Climate Change,Pearson Educational, Harlow, Essex, 403pp.

2003 (Editor)  Climate Change: Scenarios and Impacts for Ireland,Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 229pp

2002 (Editor)  Climate Change: Indicators for Ireland,Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 71pp.

1997 (Editor)  Global Change and the Irish Environment. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 176pp.

1996    Global Environmental Change: a Register of Research in Ireland Relating to the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 48pp.

1989 (Editor) The Irish Sea: a Resource at Risk, Geographical Society of Ireland, Dublin, 200pp.​

1986 (with G.P. O'Hare)  The Atmospheric System, Longmans, Edinburgh, 210pp.

Chapters in Academic Texts 

2020 ‘Pathways to Sustainability’. In: Conlon, C. (ed.)  Modern Culture and Well-Being. Veritas, Dublin, 96-104. 

2020 ‘Climate Change in Ireland: Science, Impacts and Adaptation’. In: Robbins, D., Torney, D. and Brereton, P. (eds.) Ireland and the Climate Crisis. Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication, Springer Nature, Switzerland,  15-36. 

2016  Climate Change: Education’s New Integrator. In: Mooney, B. (ed.) Education Matters: Yearbook 2016-2017 Shaping Ireland’s Education Landscape, Phyllis Mitchell (pub), Castleisland, Co. Kerry, 55-

2013 (with Teck, R.)  Regional Climate Modelling for Ireland Using A Representative Carbon Pathways Approach. In: Fernández-Palacios, J.M., de Nascimento, L., Hernández, J.C., Clemente, S., González, A. and Díaz-González, J.P. (eds.) Climate Change Perspectives from the Atlantic: past, present and future" (in print)

2012 (with Flood, S.)  Quantifying impacts of potential sea-level rise scenarios on Irish coastal cities. In: Otto- Zimmermann, K (ed.) Resilient Cities 2011. Springer, London, 27-52.

2011 (with Bastola, S., Kumar, S. and Murphy, C.) Climate change and soil hydrology: European perspectives. In: Manoj, M.K. (ed.) Soil hydrology, Land Use and Agriculture, CABI, Wallingford, 350-65.

2009  Climate Change. In: Kitchin, R and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography,Elsevier, Oxford.  

2009 (with Gonzalez, A., Gilmer, A., Foley, R. and Fry, J. (2009)  Developing and Applying a Participative Web-based GIS for Integration of Public Perceptions into Strategic Environmental Assessment.In: Mount, N.J., Harvey, G.L., Aplin, P. and Priestnall, G. (eds.) Representing, Modeling and Visualizing the Natural Environment: Innovations in GIS 13, CRC Press: Florida.

2007  A Revision of our Attitudes towards the Natural World is Required. In. Mulholland, J.(ed.), The Challenge for Government: Priorities for the Next Five Years. Essays from the 2007 MacGill Summer School. The Liffey Press, Dublin, 212-223. 

2007 (with Holden, H., and Fealy, R.) Effects of climate change on agriculture, in WMO/CAgM (World Meteorological Organisation-Commission for Agricultural Meteorology) Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices (GAMP),, 1-51.

2007 (with C. Murphy, R. Charlton, and R. Fealy)  Climate change scenarios and challenges for the water environment,In: Ireland at Risk No. 1: The impact of climate change on the water environment, The Irish Academy of Engineering, Dublin, 9-11.

2007 (Review Editor in:) Easterling, W.E., P.K. Aggarwal, P. Batima, K.M. Brander, L. Erda, S.M. Howden, A. Kirilenko, J. Morton, J.-F. Soussana, J. Schmidhuber and F.N. Tubiello. Food, Fibre and Forest products. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J. van der Linden and C.E. Hanson (eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 273-313

2007 (Contributing Author in:) Alcamo, J., J.M. Moreno, B. Nováky, M. Bindi, R. Corobov, R.J.N. Devoy, C. Giannakopoulos, E. Martin, J.E. Olesen, A. Shvidenko. Europe. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutikof, P.J.van der Linden and C.E. Hanson (eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 541-580.

2004 (with Holden, N.M., Brereton, A.J., and Fealy, R Climate Change and Irish Agriculture, In: Keane, T and Collins, J.F.(eds.) Climate, Weather and Irish Agriculture, Joint working Group on Agricultural Meteorology, Met Eireann, Dublin, 359-382.

2002 (with R. Charlton, S. Moore and R. Fealy  Climate Change and Water Resources in Ireland: Initial Investigations using Downscaled GCMs and Hydrological Modelling Techniques, In: Garcia-Ruiz, J.M., Jones, J.A.A. and Arnaez, J. (eds.) Environmental Change and Water Sustainability, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia, Zaragoza, Spain, 129-39.

2002 (with R. Fealy)  Future Climate Scenarios for Ireland using High Resolution Statistical Downscaling Techniques, in, Convery, F. and Feehan, J. (eds.) Achievement and Challenge, Rio+10 and Ireland.Environmental Institute, University College Dublin, 172-179.

2001 Various entries. In: Matthews, J. et al (eds.)The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change,Arnold, London.

2001 Marine Resources.In: Holden, N. (ed.) Agro-Meteorological Modelling- Principles, Data and Applications, AgMet (Joint Working Group on Applied Agricultural Meteorology), Dublin, 97-103.

2001 Indexing Climate Change.In: Markandaya, Anil and Dale, Nick (eds.) Measuring Environmental Degradation, Edward Elgar Publishing (in association with Eurostat, The Statistical Office of the European Communities), Cheltenham, 39-47.

1997 Ireland. In: Wheeler, D. and Mayes, J. (eds.) Regional Climates of the British Isles,Routledge, London, 254-275.

1997 Global Warming Scenarios and their Implications for Environmental Management in Ireland In: Sweeney, J. (ed.) Global Change and the Irish Environment, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 155-70.

1997 The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, In: Sweeney, J. (ed.) Global Change and the IrishEnvironment,Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1-8.

1996 Dublin Air Quality Management and the Development Plan,  In: Convery, F. and Murray, P. (eds.)Dublin Environmental Strategy, An Taisce, Dublin.

1994  Climate Scenarios for Ireland  In: Feehan, J. (ed.) Climate Variation and Climate Change  in Ireland .The Environmental Institute, University College Dublin,110-127.

1992  Modelling Dublin Smoke Pollution - an Epilogue?,In: Feehan J (ed) Environment and Development in Ireland,The Environmental Institute, University College Dublin, 232-239

1992 The Potential Impacts of Increased Carbon Dioxide on Irish Agricultural Land Use, In: Cooper, A. and Wilson, P. (eds.) Managing Land Use Change,Geographical Society of Ireland, Dublin, 

1992   Our Environment Under Threat: the Irish Perspective,In: Bell, Jill (ed.) The Environment and Society: the challenge of the nineties,Proceedings of the 38th Annual Social Study Conference, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, 28th July-2nd August 1990, Litho Press, 7-16.

1990  Air Pollution Problems in Ireland,In: Carter, R.W.G. and Parker, A.J. (eds.)Ireland: Contemporary Perspectives on a Land and its People , Croom Helm, London, 421-439.

1989  The Climatic Influence of the Irish Sea, In: Sweeney, J.C. (ed.) The Irish Sea: Resource at Risk,Geographical Society of Ireland, Dublin, 47-57.

1989 Geography at Third Level: Content and AimsIn: Alexander, R. and Gillmor, D. (eds.)Geography in the Irish Education System Geographical Society of Ireland, Dublin, 39-49.

1987  Air Pollution in Dublin City, In: Horner, A.A. and Parker, A.J. (eds.)Geographical Perspectives on the Dublin Region,  Geographical Society of Ireland, 41-57.

Academic Refereed Periodicals, Refereed Proceedings and Research Reports 

2021 ‘Climate and society in modern Ireland: past and future vulnerabilities’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 120, 391-409.

2021 ‘Documenting Irish Climate in Pre-Industrial Times’, Geographical Viewpoint 44, 4-10

2020 (with Domonkos, P., Coll, J., Guijarro, J., Curley,,M., Rustemeier,,E., Aguilar,E., and Walsh, S.). 'Precipitation trends in the island of Ireland using a dense homogenized, observational dataset'. International Journal of Climatology.

2020 (with Coll,J., Domonkos,P., Guijarro,J., Curley,M., Rustemeier,E., Aguilar,E. and Walsh, S.) 'Application of homogenization methods for Ireland’s monthly precipitation records: comparison of break detection results’ International Journal of Climatology 44(14) 6169-6188.

2018 (with Conor Murphy, Ciaran Broderick, Timothy P. Burt, Mary Curley, Catriona Duffy, Julia Hall, Shaun Harrigan, Tom K. R. Matthews, Neil Macdonald, Gerard McCarthy, Mark P. McCarthy, Donal Mullan, Simon Noone, Timothy J. Osborn, Ciara Ryan, Peter W. Thorne, Seamus Walsh, and Robert L. Wilby) A 305-year continuous monthly rainfall series for the island of Ireland (1711–2016) Climate of the Past, 14, 413–440. doi: 10.5194/cp-14-413-2018

2016 (with Coll, J., Bourke, D., Hodd, R., Sheehy-Skeffington, M. and Gormally, M.)Projected climate change impacts on upland heaths in Ireland,Climate Research 69(2), 177-191.doi: 10.3354/cr01408.

2015  Climate Change and Development Education: New Opportunities for Partnership,Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review,21(Autumn), 11-30.

2015  Preparing the Road to Paris, Working Notes 77 (September 2015)

2015 (with Coll, J., Curley, M. And Walsh, S.(2015)  ‘Ireland with HOMER'   Proceedings of the Eighth Seminar for Homogenization and Quality Control in Climatological Databases and Third Conference on Spatial Interpolation Techniques in Climatology and Meteorology,World Meteorological Organization.Climate Data and Monitoring WCDMP-No. 84, 23-45.

2015 (with Osman, Y. and Fealy, R.)Modelling extreme temperatures in Ireland under global warming using a hybrid peak-over-threshold and a generalised Pareto distribution approach,International Journal of Global Warming 7(1), 21-47.doi: 10.1504/IJGW.2015.067414.

2014 (with Coll, J., Bourke, D., Sheehy-Skeffington, M. And Gormally, M.)Potential effect of climate change on the suitable climate space of vulnerable active blanket bog. Climate Research 59: 103-115.doi: 10.3354/cr01202.

2014 (with Harrigan, S., Murphy, C., Hall, J.and Wilby, R.L.)Attribution of detected changes in streamflow using multiple working hypotheses.'Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18:1935-1952.

2014 (with Osman, Y. and Fealy, R.)Downscaling extreme precipitation in Ireland using combined Peak-Over-Threshold- Generalised Pareto Distribution model of varying parameters.Journal of Water and Climate Change ,4(4), 348–363.

2014   Regional weather and climates of the British Isles – Part 6:  Ireland ,Weather 69(1), 20-27

2013   Climate Change: Economics or Ethics.Working Notes 72 (October 2013), 3-8.

2013 (with McGloughlin, J.)    Governance and Climate Change - Making the transition to an adapted Ireland Climate change Research Report 20. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, 57pp.(published on-line:  ISBN: 978-1-84095-462-3)

2013 (with Mahony, T. and  Zhou, Peng)Integrated scenarios of energy-related CO2 emissions in Ireland: A multi-sectoral analysis to 2020.Ecological Economics 93, 385-397.

2013 (with Osman, Y. and Fealy, R.)Downscaling extreme precipitation in Ireland using combined peak-over-threshold generalised Pareto distribution model of varying parameters,Journal of Water and Climate Change 4(4), 348–363.doi: 10.2166/wcc.2013.071.

2013 (with Foley, A., & Fealy, R.)Model skill measures in probabilistic regionalclimate projections for Ireland,Climate Research 56, 33–49.doi: 10.3354/cr01140

2013 (with Adger, N.W., Quinn, T., Lorenzoni, I. and Murphy, C.)Changing Social Contracts in Climate Change Adaptation,  Nature Climate Change 3, 330-333.doi:10.1038/nclimate1751,Also published online 25 November 2012.

2012 (with Liu, X.) Modelling the impact of urban form on household energy demand and related CO2 emissions in the Greater Dublin Region. Energy Policy 46, 359-369. 

2012 (with Liu, X.) The Impacts of Climate Change on Domestic Natural Gas Consumption in the Greater Dublin Region,International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 4(2)161–178.

2012 (with Mahony, T. and Zhou, Peng)The driving forces of change in energy-related CO2 emissions in Ireland: A multi-sectoral decomposition from 1990 to 2007,Energy Policy 44(C), 256-267. 

2011 (with Coll, J., Bourke, D., Gormally, M. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.)Developing a predictive modelling capacity for a climate change vulnerable blanket bog habitat: Assessing baseline climate relationships.Irish Geography, 44(1), 27-60.

2011 (with McGloughlin, J.S.) Multi-level climate policies in Ireland. Irish Geography, 44, 1, 139-152.

2011  Climate change: Positioning Ireland, Positioning Geography. Irish Geography, 44, 1, 1-2.

2011 (with Bastola, S., Murphy, C.) Evaluation of the transferability of hydrological model parameters for simulations under changed climate conditions. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 8(3), 5891-5915.

2011 (with Bastola, S., Murphy, C.)The role of hydrological modelling uncertainties in climate change impact assessments of Irish river catchments.Advances in Water 34(5), May 2011, 562-576.

2011 (with Bastola, S., Murphy, C) The sensitivity of fluvial flood risk in Irish catchments to the range of IPCC AR4 climate change scenarios.Science of the Total Environment, 409, 5403-5415.

2011 (with Gonzales, A., Gilmer, A., Foley, R. and Fry, J.)Applying geographic information systems to support strategic environmental assessment: Opportunities and limitations in the context of Irish land-use plans.Environmental Impact Assessment Review 31(3), 368-381.

2010(with Foley, R.)   Introduction to Dublin 2026: The Future Urban Environment,Journal of Irish Urban Studies, 7-9, 1-3.
2008 (with Gonzalez, A., Gilmer, A., Foley, R. and Fry, J.Technology-aided Participative Methods in Environmental Assessment: An International Perspective,
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 32,303-316

2008 (with R. Fealy) Statistical Downscaling of Temperature, Radiation and Potential Evapotranspiration to Produce a Multiple GCM Ensemble Mean for a Selection of Sites in Ireland, Irish Geography 41(1), 1-27.

2007 (with S. Coveney, S., Fotheringham, and M. Charlton)A Dual-frequency GPS survey to test medium-scale DTM data quality and to generate precise DTM data for sea-level rise prediction in protected habitat areas.Proceedings of the Geographical Information Science Research UK Conference (GISRUK), NUI Maynooth, Ireland, 11-13 April 2007, 241-245.

2007 (with R. Fealy)   Statistical downscaling of precipitation for a selection of sites in Ireland employing a generalised linear modelling approach,International Journal of Climatology 27(15), 2083-2094.

2007 (with R. Fealy)    Identification of frequency changes in synoptic circulation types and consequences for glacier mass balance in Norway.Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift - Norwegian Journal of Geography 61(2), 76-91.

2006 (with Charlton, R, Fealy, R., Moore, S. and Murphy, C.)Assessing the impact of climate change on water supply and flood hazard in Ireland using statistical downscaling and hydrological modelling technique,
Climatic Change 74, 475-491.

2005 (with R. Fealy)  Detection of a Possible Change Point in Atmospheric Variability in the North Atlantic and its effect on Scandinavian Glacier Mass Balance,
International Journal of Climatology 25, 1819-1833.

2004 (with Purser, P., Byrne, K., and Farrell, E.P.)The potential impact of climate change on  Irish Forestry 61, 16-34.International Journal of Climatology 25, 1819-1833.

2004 (with Donnelly, A., and Jones, M.B.)A review of indicators of climate change for use in Ireland,International Journal of Biometeorology 49, 1-12.

2003 (with Holden, N.M., Brereton, A.J., and Fealy, R.)Possible change in Irish climate and its impact on barley and potato yields.Agriculture and Forest Meteorology 116 (3-4) 181-196.

2003 (with R. Fealy)   A Preliminary Investigation of Future  Scenarios for Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 102B, 121-128.

2002   A Three-Century Storm Climatology for Dublin, 1715-  2000, Irish Geography 33(1), 1-14.

2001 (with M. Sheridan) Weather and horse racing: towards a more objective prediction of the Going,Weather 56(2), 48-54.

1993 (with G. O'Hare) Lamb's Circulation Types and British Weather: an evaluation, Geography, 78(1), 43-62.

1992  The Dubliners Breathe Better These Days, Systema Terra (Rome) 1(2), 36-37.

1992 (with G. O'Hare) Geographical variations in precipitation yields and circulation types in Britain and Ireland,Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 17(4), 448-463.
1990  Global Climate Issues: Teaching Problems,Geographical Viewpoint 18, 71-80.

1990 (with M. Leavey) Visibility at Dublin and the Long Range Transport of  Air Pollutants,International Journal of Climatology, 10, 191-201
1989  The Greenhouse Effect and Ireland.  Technology Ireland 21(4), 30-37.

1988   Controls on Irish Climate Geographical Viewpoint 16, 60-72.

1987  The Urban Heat Island of Dublin City, Irish Geography 20(1), 1-10.

1985  The Changing Synoptic Climatology of Irish Rainfall. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 10(4),467-480.

1985   The 1984 Drought on the Canadian Prairies,Weather 40(10), 302-310.

1984  Regional Patterns of Urban Growth in theU.S.S.R.,Geography 69(2), 128-136.

1982  Air Pollution and Morbidity in Dublin, Irish Geography 15, 1-10.

1981  Ireland's Changing Energy Base,Irish Geography 14, 107-111.

1978  Inversion Persistence at Long Kesh, Northern Ireland,Weather 34(2), 50-60.

1977 The Glasgow Rainstorm of 28th September 1976 - a   Note. Scottish Geographical Magazine 93, 52-55.

Other Publications 

2016  Climate Change and the West of Ireland: Global Perspectives – Local Solutions,Report of the Headford Environment Group’s Climate Change Conference 16th April 2016.

2014 ‘Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century’ Book Review:‘Our Once and Future Planet’ By Paddy Woodsworth Irish Examiner January 18th, 2014.

2013 ‘Climate is difficult for action on environment' Book Review:What’s Wrong with Climate Politics and How to Fix It by Paul G. Harris, Irish Examiner August 24th, 2013

2013 ‘The answer my friend is shining in the sky'.Book ReProject Sunshine: How science can use the sun to fuel and feed the world by Steve McKevitt & Tony Ryan,Irish Examiner April 20th, 2013

2010 Climate Extremes,Eolas, Issue 2, Jan/Feb, 22.

2009 (with Coll, J. and Maguire, C.)Biodiversity and Climate Change in Ireland - Briefing Paper.  Dublin, Comhar Sustainable Development Council.

2009 From Academic Backwater to Global Centre Stage,The Bridge NUI Maynooth Alumni Magazine,Winter 2009, 8-9.

2008 Climate Change and Irish Agriculture, Proceedings of the National REPS Conference ’08,Tullamore, 6th November 2008, 2-7.

2007 The Impact of Climate Change on Irish Agriculture,Proceedings of the Agricultural Forum, Tullamore, 12th March 2007, 145-50.

2007  Ulster faces Floods and Droughts,Irish Woodturners’ Guild Journal 40 (March 2007), 20-21.

2004   Planning and Climate Change: It’s time to grasp the nettle,An Taisce Magazine, Winter 2004,13-15.

2002 (with Charlton, R., Moore, S. and Fealy, R.) Climate change and water resources in Ireland: predictions made at a high spatial resolution using downscaled GCM data and hydrological modelling techniques. Proceedings of The British Hydrological Society 8th National Symposium, 61-66.

1999  Quo Vadis Planning? Insite (Winter 1999), Royal Town Planning Institute,Dublin 

1989-1996 Editor: Irish Geography  Vols. 22-27 (2 numbers per annum)

1990 Short term prospects for global climate and their implications for Irish regional precipitation yields,Proceedings of the 10th annual Seminar of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (Irish Branch) entitled: 'Climatic Extremes and their Effects on Water Resources', held at Port Laoise, on 1st-3rd May 1990. Irish Association of Hydrogeologists.

1989   Climate models and the climatic future,Proceedings of a Symposium entitled: 'Climatic Change',
held at the Geological Survey of Ireland, Beggars Bush,Dublin, on 2nd December 1988.Irish Association for Quaternary Studies, Coleraine, 21-33.

1989   Living with smog in Dublin.Baile, 20-23.

1979 'Renfrew Air Pollution Project- Report on the Period June 1971-May 1977'(Consultancy report for Renfrew District Council Planning Department based on data evaluation and analysis of smoke and sulphur dioxide concentrations in West Central Scotland.)
Conference Papers

  • 'Climate Change and Irish Agriculture' Proceedings of the National REPS Conference pp 2-7 (2008)
  • 'Refining the Impacts: Handling Uncertainty for Adaptation Planning' Adaptation Workshop - Review of impacts, risks and vulnerability, 17 June 2008 (2008)
  • 'The Impact of Climate Change on Irish Agriculture' Proceedings of the Agricultural Forum pp 145-150 (2007) 
  • Gonzalez, A., Gilmer, A., Foley, R. and Sweeney, J. 'Developing and Applying a User-Friendly Web-Based GIS for Participative Environmental Assessment' Proceedings of the Geographical Information Science Research UK Conference, 11-13 April 2007, NUI Maynooth, Ireland (2007)
  • Coveney, S., Fotheringham, S., Charlton, M. 'A Dual-Frequency GPS Survey to test Medium-Scale DTM Data Quality and to Generate Precise DTM Data for Sea-Level Rise Prediction in Protected Habitat areas' Proceedings of the Geographical Information Science Research UK Conference, 11-13 April 2007, NUI Maynooth, Ireland (2007)
  • Murphy, C., Fealy, R., Charlton, R. 'Changing Precipitation Scenarios: Preliminary Implications for Groundwater Flow Systems and Planning' Proceedings of the 25th Anniversary Conference on Groundwater in Ireland,Tullamore, 19-20 April (2005)
  • 'Short Term Prospects for Global Climate and Their Implications for Irish Regional Precipitation Yields' Proceedings of the 10th annual Seminar of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (1990) 
  • Sweeney, J. 'Climate Models and the Climatic Future' Proceedings of Irish Quaternary Association Symposium: "Climate Change" pp 21-33 (1989)

Non-peer reviewed articles

  • 'Quo Vadis Planning?' Insite Winter (1999) 
  • 'Living with Smog in Dublin' Baile pp 20-23 (1989) 'Renfrew Air Pollution Project- Report on the Period June 1971- May 1977
  • ' Report for Renfrew District Council Planning Department (1978)


  • 'In the bleak Midwinter'Sunday Business Post (2011)
  • 'Climate Extremes' Eolas pp 22-23 (2010)
  • 'From Academic Backwater to Global Centre Stage' The Bridge pp 08-09 (2009) 
  • 'No Plan B for Planet if Climate Deal Not Agreed' (2009) 
  • 'Living With and Learning Lessons from the Floods' (2009) 
  • 'Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth chosen as the New President of An Taisce' (2009) 
  • 'NUIM Academic seeks to Improve Percepton of An Taisce' (2009)
  • 'We Need to Adapt to Our Changing Climate' (2008)
  • 'Irish Scientists Play a Key Role' (2007) 
  • BioFeature, Leinster Leader, 12 January (2007)
  • 'Irish Scientists Play a Key role’ Irish Times, 13 October (2007)
  • 'Planning and Climate Change: It's Time to Grasp the Nettle!' An Taisce Magazine pp 13-15 (2004)
  • 'A note from the editor' Irish Geography pp 1-2 (1996-1989)

External Assignments and Public Service


  • Invited Expert, ‘Carbon Budgets’ Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action, Dail Eireann


  • Invited Expert, ‘Pre-Legislative Consultation on the Climate and Low Carbon Development Bill (Amendment)’ Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, Dail Eireann       
  • Panel Chair: Energy, Climate and Environmental Sciences,  Danish Roadmap for Research Infrastructure, Government of Denmark.


  • Invited Expert, ‘Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCCJoint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, Dail Eireann
  • Judge: National Soapbox Final. Royal College of Physicians, Dublin.2018         
  • Expert Evaluator: Czech Republic Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports


  • Member: Intel Community Advisory Panel


  • Interview Board, Commission for Public Service Appointments, for position of Assistance Secretary, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.


  • Member: Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Episcopal Conference


  • Programme Committee, Manchester City of Science. EuroScience Open Forum 2016.


  • Consultant/Rapporteur to the Joint Committee on the Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht considering the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 
  • External Assessor, Peer Review Group. Quality Review of the School of the Human Environment, University College Cork


  • 'Adapting to a Climate of Uncertainty’, IWA World Congress of Water, Climate and Energy, National Convention Centre,Dublin, 18th May 2012
  • ‘Modelling the Impacts of Climate Change on Forest Pests’ Conference of Irish Geographers/ Annual Conference of the Geographical Society of  Ireland,Trinity College Dublin, 26th May 2012
  • ‘Climate Change: the Importance of Environmental Education’Keynote Address,Foundation for Environmental Education, General Assembly Grand Hotel Malahide, Co. Dublin, 8th June 2012
  • 'Climate Justice Towards Climate Justice', Community Workers Cooperative, National Women’s Council, Dublin, 26th June 2012


  • 'Climate Change and Ireland: the Road Ahead after Cancun'Active Retirement Group, Westmanstown, Dublin, 11th January 2011
  • 'Downscaling Global Climate models for Future Climate Scenarios: Drivers for Insect Pest Assessment',Symposium: Insect Pests of Trees: Meeting Future Challenges,IMPACT/Interreg 4a, NUI, Maynooth, 24th January 2011
  • 'Climate Change Adaptation- the Challenges for Ireland'Irish Met Society Conference 2011, NUI, Maynooth,26th March 2011
  • 'Adapting to Climate Change: the Challenges for Ireland', Irish Environmental Researchers' Colloquium (ENVIRON 2011), University College Cork,6th April 2011


  • ‘Climate Change: From Copenhagen to Celbridge’ Trinity College Dublin Association and Trust, Kildrought House, Celbridge,2nd November 2010
  • ‘Climate Change and Flooding: What to Expect’, Flood Relief Infrastructure Conference,Office of Public Works,Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, 28th October 2010
  • ‘Beyond Climategate: what the science really says’Keynote Address: Sustainable Construction: This time it’s serious - The first carbon neutral event at the world’s first carbon neutral conference centre, National Convention Centre, Dublin, 28th October 2010
  • 'Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Crop and Livestock Farming in Ireland’,Royal Dublin Society,NUI, Maynooth, 26th October 2010
  • ‘Assessment of the role of hydrological modelling uncertainties in climate change impact assessments’,The Changing Physical and Social Environments: Hydrologic Impacts and Feedbacks,San Diego, California, 11-13th October 2010 (with S. Bastola, and  C. Murphy)
  • ‘The Uncertainty of Climate Change: How will it affect you?’ John Hewitt Summer School,The Market Theatre, Armagh, 28th July 2010
  • 'Addressing Climate Change in Ireland: Why Green Schools Matter’, Green Schools Conference, Tailors’ Hall, Dublin 2, 14th July 2010
  • ‘Climate Change in Africa: Impacts on Agriculture’Keynote Address: Food Security & Climate Change in Africa – a community solution. Self Help Africa conference,University College Dublin, Dublin, 20th May 2010
  • ‘Addressing Climate Change Post Copenhagen’ An Taisce, Kilkenny Branch, Butler House, Kilkenny, 5th May 2010
  • Climate Change and the Burren, Burren in Bloom, Burren College of Art,Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, 4th May 2010
  • ‘Climate Change and Sustainable Planning of the Greater Dublin Region’ (with Xiaochen Liu) Conference of Irish Geographers/ Annual Conference of the Geographical Society of Ireland, National University of Ireland Maynooth, 30th April 2010
  • ‘Climate Change: Water- the Oil of the 21st Century’, Invited Lecture, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra,Dublin City University,Dublin, 27th April 2010
  • ‘Climate Change: The Health Dimension’, Invited Lecture to staff and students, Dublin Institute of Technology (Kevin St.),Dublin, 22nd April 2010
  • Keynote address, ‘Wexford: Adapting to Climate Change’Conference: Climate Change and You: leading the local response,Wexford County Council/Wexford county Development Board,Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford,21st April 2010
  • Presentation,‘Climate Change-a European Union Perspective’ Kerry Public Libraries, Killarney,
  • Co. Kerry, 13th April 2010
  • Keynote Address, ‘Climate Change: What it means for the West of Ireland’,An Taisce, Galway Branch,
  • Galway,23rd March 2010
  • Presentation,‘Climate Change and Health’,Institute for Public Health, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 
  • Dublin, 25th February 2010
  • Keynote Address,‘Coping with the Challenges of a Changing World: the Example of Climate Change’
  • IBM North-east Europe Regional Conference,Croke Park,Dublin, 24th February 2010
  • ‘Climate Change and the SEA/EIA Process’ Invited lecture to M.A. (Environmental Impact Analysis), 
  • University College Dublin, 19th February 2010
  • Presentation,‘Communicating the Science of Climate Change: Tackling Scepticism after Copenhagen’,
  • Workshop: Sustainability – where Science and Society Meet,Business School, Dublin City University, Dublin, 29th January 2010


  • Keynote address,‘Climate Change: What it means for the South-East Region’,Address to South-East Regional Assembly, Council Chamber, Waterford, 11th December 2009
  • Keynote Address ‘Climate Change: What it means for Ireland and the Wider World’,Department of Foreign Affairs, 
  • Iveagh House, Dublin, 25th November 2009
  • Presentation ‘Climate Change in Ireland: Why Green Schools are Necessary!’,An Taisce Prize Giving,St.Mary’s School,Nenagh, Co.Tipperary, 7th November 2009
  • Presentation ‘Climate Change and Energy in Ireland’,An Taisce Energy Forum,IBEC Headquarters, Dublin, 5th November 2009
  • Presentation ‘Climate Change: What it means for Ireland,What it means for Donegal’,Irish Cois Locha,Dunlewey, Gweedore, Co.Donegal, 27th October 2009
  • Presentation 'Climate Change: Are we doing enough?’,21st La Touche Legacy Seminar: Are Local Authorities Good for Your Health?, Greystones, 2nd October 2009
  • Keynote Address, ‘Climate Change: The Natural and Cultural Heritage Dimensions’ 13th International Conference of National Trusts, Dublin CastlE, 14th September 2009
  • Keynote address,‘Global Challenges and Policy Responses: Climate Change’,Intel European Research and Innovation Conference, Intel Ireland,Leixlip, 9th September 2009
  • Invited Expert,‘Climate Change and Ireland’,Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security,Dail Eireann (2009)
  • Invited Expert,OECD Hearings on Ireland’s Environmental Performance,Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin (2008)
  • Irish National Delegate, ESF/EU COST Domain Committee, Earth System Science and Environmental Management, Brussels (2006)
  • Rapporteur on COST Action 633 (Suspended Particulates and Health) (2006)
  • Contributing Author and Review Editor, Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations Environment Programme/World Meteorological Organisation (2005-07)
  • Minister of the Environment’s nomination to serve on the Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency (2006-09)

Memberships of Professional Bodies

  • President, An Taisce, (2009-)
  • President, Geographical Society of Ireland (2006-2008)
  • Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
  • Research Associate, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
  • Member of the Association of British Climatologists
  • Member of the Geographical Society of Ireland
  • Member of the Irish Association for Quaternary Studies
  • Member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society
  • Member of the Geographical Association
  • Member of Kildare County Council Heritage Forum (2004-07)