The just-ending southern winter in New Zealand is the warmest ever recorded, and scientists say climate change is raising temperatures more than ever.
According to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, the average temperature for the three months to August was 9.8 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
This is 1.3 ° C above the long-term average and 0.2 ° C above last year’s historical record. Scientists have set records since 1909, but most of the warmest winters are recent.
In addition to the background of global warming, the institute’s meteorologist Nava Fedef said there was warmer winds and warmer sea temperatures from the north this year.
She said the underlying warming trend can be tracked by carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide levels have increased in New Zealand from 320ppm 50 years ago to about 412ppm today.
According to Fedef, lowland snowfall is well below average this winter, often replacing rain and reducing snowmelt, which could lower river levels later this year. She said it could affect farm irrigation.
More extreme weather events have also occurred, including severe floods in some areas and dry spells in others, Fedaev said.
Professor James Renwick, a climate scientist at Victoria University of Wellington, may benefit from a longer grass growing season, at least in the short term, for some New Zealand farmers with herds of cattle and sheep. Said not.
But he said changes would also put pressure on natural ecosystems, and over time more species would face extinction. He said it is essential for humans to slow down greenhouse gas emissions.
“If we don’t catch up with warming quickly, much of the world will be sad,” Renwick said.
Renwick said that New Zealand has spoken a lot about climate change, but so far has done little to curb its emissions. But he said appropriate government policies are currently in place, including a pledge to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
He said there are many natural resources such as wind, sun and water that can provide renewable energy to the country’s energy needs.
“New Zealand has the potential to lead the world in green energy and the green economy,” he said.