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Climate Change and its affects on New Zealand

I do not wish to get into an argument about global warming, but things are changing. At my age I do not have to worry much (I hope), but my view is why take chances with our children's future lives.

Summary of climate change impacts on New Zealand

Higher temperatures

There is likely to be an increase in demand for air-conditioning systems and therefore for electricity in summer Conversely, there will be a reduction in demand for winter heating meaning less costs for bill payers and reducing stress on those who cannot afford electricity

Flooding

More frequent intense winter rainfalls are expected to increase the likelihood of flooding by rivers, as well as flash flooding when urban drainage systems become overwhelmed

Water resources

Water demand will be heightened during hot, dry summers Longer summers with higher temperatures and lower rainfall will reduce soil moisture and groundwater supplies River flows are likely to be lower in summer and higher in winter Lower river flows in summer will raise water temperatures and aggravate water quality problems

Health

Higher levels of mortality related to summer heat are expected Higher winter temperatures would be likely to lead to a reduction in winter related mortality and illnesses such as colds and flu

Biodiversity

Warmer weather would favour conditions for increased competition from exotic species as well as the spread of disease and pests, affecting both fauna and flora Warmer temperatures will reduce some critical habitats, increasing the risk of localised extinction Increased summer drought will cause stress to dry lowland forests Earlier springs and longer frost-free seasons could affect the timing of bird egg-laying, as well as the emergence, first flowering and health of leafing or flowering plants

Built environment

Increased temperatures may reduce comfort of occupants in domestic, commercial and public buildings, and could lead to business disruption

Transport

Hotter summers may damage elements of transport infrastructure, causing buckled railway lines and rutted roads, with associated disruption and repair costs

Business and Finance

Households may find it more difficult to access adequate insurance cover in the face of increased flood risk Fruit and vegetable growers may find it more expensive to insure against weather related damage eg, hail The risk management of potential climate change impacts may provide significant opportunities for business

New Zealand Government Resources

For an A4 poster on Climate Impact: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/resources/impact-map/climate-change-impact-map.pdf

For A3: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/climate/resources/impact-map/climate-change-impact-map-a3.pdf

This is the New Zealand's Government website on the issues and how they will affect NZ. If you wish to go directly to their site the link is at the bottom of the Iframe.

Goverment Website on Climate Change

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living_in_new_zealand/climate_change_and_nz.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/11 21:31 by tel
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