Earth’s temperature rises to new record

THE latest report on the world’s climate lends weight to the argument global warming is already taking place, a NIWA forecaster says.

Last year was the world’s warmest yet, with rising temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases setting new records.

The international State of the Climate report is based on contributions from 413 scientists in 58 countries around the world, including several New Zealanders.

NIWA forecaster Chris Brandolino said the figures showed ocean temperatures globally were very warm and land temperatures were quite warm in 2014 — though the temperatures were not as high in New Zealand as in parts of Europe and in Australia. New Zealand’s mean temperature for 2014 was 12.8°C for the whole year, only 0.2° above average.

However, Mr Brandolino said if 12.8° was compared over the 106 years since records began it was evident that 2014 was the 23rd warmest year on record for New Zealand.

He said New Zealand’s next decades would be marked by more extremes.

“By the 2080s, 60 more hot days per year — that’s over 25°C — for northern areas by 2090, rise in extreme rainfall, roughly 8 per cent increase for every 1°C warming, time spent in drought in eastern and northern New Zealand projected to double or triple by 2040.”