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Global climate report shows unpredictable future: New Zealand scientist

English.news.cn   2014-07-18 11:49:57

WELLINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Meteorological studies of the past are no longer a reliable guide to the future as the pace of global climate change accelerates, one of the co-authors of the American Meteorological Society's annual State of the Climate report said Friday.

The report showed the world continued to warm last year, with some Southern Hemisphere countries having one of their warmest years on record in 2013, said Associate Professor James Renwick of New Zealand's Victoria University.

New Zealand had its warmest winter on record and its third warmest year overall, while Argentina had its second warmest and Australia its warmest since record keeping began in 1910, said Renwick, who had overall responsibility for the report's climate summaries of Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Of particular note were the devastating floods in Europe in the spring of 2013, which resulted in 24 deaths and caused billions of dollars of damage, Renwick said in a statement.

Asia also experienced extreme weather events, including super- typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded, which saw sustained winds of up 315 km per hour and left more than 6,000 people dead.

Another significant phenomenon was the extreme heat in Australia where some places recorded temperatures of at least 10 degrees centigrade above average for several days in January 2013.

"The sort of temperatures we are calling warmer than average now, will be considered colder than average in 50 or 60 years that's how quickly the climate is changing," said Renwick.

A four-day storm that flooded parts of the north of New Zealand this month after a run of very dry summers was the sort of pattern to be expected of climate change.

"The average climate, and variability of the climate, are both changing and that will alter agricultural patterns in New Zealand and around the world. Just because something has been grown successfully in an area for the past 100 years, there is no guarantee it can continue to be successfully grown there. A farmer is going to see significant change in what can be done on their land over his or her working life."

The State of the Climate report, compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries, also showed concentrations of greenhouse gases at historic highs and a globally averaged sea surface temperature that was among the 10 warmest on record, along with a continued rise in sea level and continued warming of the Arctic.

Editor: An
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