In brief: We’re facing greater weather extremes

New Zealand will get hotter, have more heavy rainfalls, and experience more days when the fire risk is extreme, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Fifth Assessment Working Group 2 report includes a chapter on New Zealand and Australia. NIWA climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait is a lead author of the chapter, which says New Zealand continues to demonstrate long-term trends toward higher surface-air and sea-surface temperatures, more hot extremes and fewer cold extremes, and changed rainfall patterns.

Dr Tait says the Working Group 2 report “highlights where we are already seeing signs of climate change impacting on our environment and societies, and predicts what the impacts are going to be as our climate continues to be affected by ever-increasing concentrations of CO₂ and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”.

“The report is a chance to restate and re-emphasise the climate change vulnerability and adaptation issues that we face.”

For the full report see www.ipcc.ch

Drought conditions caused strife for many farmers across the North Island in 2013. [Dave Allen]