Stuff.co.nz Doubts are being raised about the significance of new figures showing the past decade has been New Zealand’s warmest on record.
Average national temperatures over the past decade were just a few hundredths of a degree Celsius higher than in the 1980s, the previous warmest.
A National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) statement yesterday reaffirmed its statements that the decade was likely to be the hottest recorded.
However, the new statement failed to include figures.
Blue Skies Weather forecaster Tony Trewinnard said it was doubtful a few hundredths of a degree was such a statistically significant amount on which to base such statements.
Niwa principal climate scientist James Renwick told The Press temperatures at seven key stations over the past 10 years were one-tenth of a degree above the 1971-2000 norm.
“The next warmest were the 1980s, about 0.07C above that normal, so it’s only a few hundredths of a degree difference,” he said.
Asked if the difference was significant, Renwick said: “Well, it is a very small amount. [But], officially, it was warmer – the long-term trend is for warming.”
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