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Big storm sign of future climate


Big storm sign of future climate

More big storms like this weekend’s snowstorm can be expected as a result of climate change, Forest and Bird is warning.

Barry Weeber, senior researcher at Forest and Bird today warned that extreme weather events would become more common as a result of climate change, including more extreme winter storms.

“There’s a common misconception that a warmer climate means more days at the beach. But increasing global temperatures will actually generate more extreme weather events. More droughts, more cyclones and more extreme storms,” Mr Weeber said.

“New Zealand’s economy and way of life is dependent on the climate we enjoy. Climate change means more disruption to our lives,” he said.

“It’s foolish for the farming sector to complain about a climate change levy when they have the most to lose. Farming is the sector most vulnerable to extreme weather events like droughts and heavy snowfalls. Farming is the sector that most often comes cap in hand for community support after extreme weather related events like snowfalls, droughts, floods and fires,” he said.

“Last week, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) warned that extreme weather events are increasing and blamed global warming for the changes. Super-computer modeling of the world’s climate system shows that the climate becomes more unstable as the atmosphere heats up,” he said.

“It’s time we paid more attention to the warnings of meteorologists. The WMO has been recording an increase in extreme weather events – high rainfall, droughts, temperature extremes – its time we all took note,” Mr Weeber said.

NOTES

The WMO is a United Nations meteorological service based in Geneva and is supported by 185 nations. See http://www.wmo.ch/index-en.html for more information on the organisation. The WMO normally confines itself to issuing scientific reports and statistics compiled from climate data. However, the weather events of 2003 had proved so remarkable, WMO officials say the organization felt compelled to issue a generalized warning of the emerging pattern. The WMO said new analysis of data for the northern hemisphere showed the increase in temperature in the 20th century was likely to have been the largest in any century during the past 1,000 years.

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