Saturday, 29 July 2017

Extreme El Nino events likely to become twice as common in New Zealand

Extreme El Nino events - the sort that can bring severe droughts to the east of New Zealand and more heavy rain to the west - are likely to happen twice as often if the global mean temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

If the temperature increases more than that, they'll happen even more often, according to a new report published in the Nature Climate Change journal. It's not good news for weather-reliant industries like agriculture.

It also means that even if the 2015 Paris climate agreement - which aims to limit global warming to 2C - is kept to, more extreme El Nino events will occur.

Average annual rainfall in Rotomanu on the West Coast is 3.5 metres, but close to 6m in El Nino years. El Nino often causes increase rainfall west of the Southern Alps.

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