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Science Alert: Experts Respond

NIWA Annual Climate Summary – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on January 12th, 2016.

2015 was a dry, sunny year for New Zealand, but no hotter than average overall, according to NIWA’s annual climate summary. You can access the full annual climate summary here. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology also released its 2015 climate summary last week, which showed that 2015 was the fifth warmest year on record for Australia. […]

El Niño and its impacts – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 13th, 2015.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed the Pacific is in an El Niño climate pattern – what does this mean for New Zealand? The Bureau made the declaration yesterday following close analysis of ocean temperature shifts and wind patterns. The El Niño conditions typically bring warmer ocean waters in the tropics, and weaker wind […]

Containing the Flock Hill fire – Expert responds

John Kerr posted in on January 28th, 2015.

Experts say that the fire that destroyed around 300 hectares of forest and tussock at the Flock Hill Station in Canterbury, was exacerbated by dry, windy conditions and difficult terrain – but could have been much worse had the weather not changed yesterday. The blaze, which started on Monday afternoon, has been the focus of […]

Living with drought – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on January 14th, 2015.

2015 has got off to a very dry start and increasingly drought-like conditions could have a substantial impact on farmers in the coming weeks. Soil moisture measurements in both the North and South Islands are lower than average for this time of year, with irrigation restrictions already in place in parts of Canterbury and North […]

Drought – soil, rivers, climate, outlook

Dacia Herbulock posted in on March 22nd, 2013.

ONLINE MEDIA BRIEFING – FRI 22 MAR The ‘big dry’ continues, with the entire North Island officially declared a drought zone and ongoing water restrictions in many regions. How bad is this drought, and how long is it likely to last? What are the ongoing impacts on soil moisture and river flows, and how much […]

Drought raises climate questions

John Kerr posted in on March 11th, 2013.

Current drought conditions in the North Island have heated up discussion about the science of climate change and the future of New Zealand’s weather. Climate scientists have warned the we may see similar dry seasons in the future. Examples of media coverage from over the weekend: Sunday Star Times: North Island Drought The Most Severe […]

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Climate change ‘loads’ the extreme weather ‘dice’ – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on August 7th, 2012.

A group of climate experts, including Prof James Hansen, claim  recent heat waves and extreme summers can be attributed to  global warming and not random chance. The group outline this view in a new study, published in PNAS, which compared recent temperatures to a 1951-1980 base period. Their findings revealed that extremely hot summers-those with […]

NZ Herald: Long dry spell leads to less greenhouse gas

Peter Griffin posted in on April 19th, 2010.

Eloise Gibson writes in the New Zealand Herald that the recent dry spell has led to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The drop in emissions is due to the increased culling farmers had to undertake in order to last through the drought, which has been particularly severe in in the Waikato and north of Taupo. An […]

El Niño with a difference

Dacia Herbulock posted in on September 24th, 2009.

El Niño ‘Modoki’ – a new kind of El Niño will increase with global warming Research published today in Nature has identified a new type of El Niño climate anomaly that is occurring with more and more frequency as a consequence of human-induced global warming. In the classic El Niño pattern, weak trade winds lead […]

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The Press: Canterbury drought likely, say forecasters

Peter Griffin posted in on September 16th, 2009.

Paul Gorman, of The Press, reports that current conditions in Canterbury, namely strong winds as well as high temperatures, are bringing the threat of a drought in the region ever closer. The region seems set to continue experiencing unusually dry weather as well as high-than-normal temperatures (see here for NIWA’s climate outlook) – Timaru had […]

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