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News / New report shows significant changes to New Zealand’s climate

New report shows significant changes to New Zealand’s climate

New report shows significant changes to New Zealand’s climate

Posted October 15, 2020

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says.

Our atmosphere and climate 2020, released today, includes analysis of temperature data from 30 sites around New Zealand that shows our climate is warming. Every site recorded increasing average temperatures in winter.

More extreme weather events are also starting to be seen – extreme rainfall, heatwave days, and dry spell days increased and frost days decreased at some places. Changes to seasons are becoming apparent.

Glacier ice volumes have also decreased and a rise in sea levels have been recorded.

Significant changes to New Zealand’s climate are documented in this report, and they mirror the changes being observed around the world.

“This report points to profound changes to New Zealand’s climate, and greater impacts on our wellbeing in the future, unless there is both local and global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” say Ministry for the Environment Chief Executive Vicky Robertson and Government Statistician Mark Sowden.

Robertson says the report shows the serious challenges climate change poses. It should be used to inform discussions and choices by whānau, schools, businesses, and communities about the legacy we leave for all those who come after us.

“COVID reminded us that large-scale disruption to our lives can be abrupt, unwanted and unforeseen, and that some people, places and sectors are likely to be disproportionately affected.

“Climate change is here to stay, but the window to create the best possible future for our young people and their children’s children is closing,” Robertson says.

The report is the latest in the joint MfE/Stats NZ Environmental Reporting series. The reports are produced under the requirements of the Environmental Reporting Act to provide fair, accurate and independent information on the state of New Zealand’s environment.