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Climate A Hot Topic At Salinger Seminars

Taranaki Regional Council media release
28 November 2008
For immediate release

Climate A Hot Topic At Salinger Seminars

Leading climate scientist Jim Salinger will have some potentially burning issues to discuss at public seminars in Taranaki on 8 December.

According to a major report he’s just completed, the impacts of climate trends in coming years may include increased risk of wildfire in Taranaki.

More droughts, drier and windier conditions, easier ignition and greater fuel availability are among the risk factors discussed in the report, called Climate Trends, Hazards and Extremes – Taranaki.

The report was commissioned by the New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Regional Council and South Taranaki District Council out of concern that the councils and the regional community need to be better prepared to deal adequately and appropriately with the natural hazards the region faces.

Dr Salinger, of the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), will discuss his findings at public seminars in the Stratford War Memorial Hall, Miranda Street, Stratford at 2pm and at the New Plymouth District Council Civic Centre, Liardet Street, New Plymouth, at 7.30pm on Monday 8 December. Entry to both events is free.

The 111-page report predicts more frequent and more intense climatic extremes for Taranaki involving rainfall, wind and drought.

The impacts will potentially include increased risks of flooding, drought and wildfire.

Dr Salinger predicts “significant potential impacts” of increased flood risks, and accompanying land slippage and erosion, on stormwater drainage systems, roads, bridges and development of low-lying land. “Thus serious consideration is required by councils and communities of these likely impacts.”

He also suggests further detailed studies may be needed into climatic impacts on water supply, natural ecosystems, agriculture, coastal communities and infrastructure.

ENDS

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