New Zealand climate: Scenarios for a warm high-CO2 world | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

New Zealand climate: Scenarios for a warm high-CO2 world

M. J. Salinger

A well-documented global rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations since 1957 and projected increases point towards a significant warming of the present climate unprecedented in historical times. The regional effects of such a warming will determine the agricultural, economic and social consequences for New Zealand. Four New Zealand scenarios are constructed using different methods. While each has obvious drawbacks, the results show a striking amount of agreement on a warm high-CO2, world scenario of warmer temperatures countrywide and increased precipitation in the east of the North Island and in the northeast of both islands. The scenarios indicate reduced precipitation amounts in southern New Zealand. High priority should be given to climatic modelling, both past and present, which improves our knowledge of the potential effects of higher atmospheric
CO2 concentrations.

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