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2016 another scorcher year – Expert Reaction

Posted in Expert Reactions on January 9th, 2017.

2016 was the hottest year in New Zealand in over a century, surpassing the previous warmest year on record, 1998.

Niwa released its annual climate summary today, which showed 2016 was the warmest year on record based on the seven-station series which began in 1909.

The full annual climate summary is available on Niwa’s website. Last week, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology released its annual summary, which showed 2016 was the fourth warmest year on record for Australia.

The Science Media Centre asked experts for their reaction to the Niwa annual summary. Feel free to use the comments below in your reports.

Dr Jim Salinger, Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Otago, comments:

“New Zealand’s record mean annual temperatures for 2016 in line with the warmest year globally. The first global analysis of 2016 climate data is out, and last year was the hottest on record, surpassing the 2015 record by 0.2 degrees Celsius. The average global surface temperature soared to around 14.8 degrees Celsius, approximately 1.3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service last week.

“New Zealand and the globe trends reflect that the record greenhouse gases levels now are warming our climate. At the same time, the Southern Alps permanent ice volume has reduced to approximately a fifth of that in the late 19th century. These observations are all signals of accelerating global warming locally.

“As well, warmer seas around New Zealand and more northerly and northwesterly winds over the country contributed to the record warm year. This is very much a clarion call for action on both mitigating and adapting to climate change.”

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