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Urgent need for long-term climate research funding in New Zealand

Summarised by Centrist 

Climate change scientist Kevin Trenberth says: 

“(I)f councils hope to plan for the future, they need access to long-term sound continuous research that is specific to New Zealand. Yet there is inadequate work in that area in New Zealand, including at Niwa.”

The aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle showed how vulnerable New Zealand is to climate extremes, signalling a need for robust climate research. Trenberth says that understanding the changing climate, both natural and human-induced, is vital for effective planning and adaptation.

Trenberth mentions recent extreme weather events, including Cyclone Gabrielle, to illustrate the inadequacy of current preparedness. He stresses the importance of distinguishing between natural variability, such as El Niño cycles, and human-induced climate change, which exacerbates extremes.

New Zealand needs region-specific research and credible climate models, he says and calls for sustained funding to support continuous climate research. According to Trenbeth, this will improve predictions, and provide essential information for decision-makers. 

“Climate change is a major long-term threat that requires not only mitigation and adaptation, but information!” he says. 

Editor’s note: Read “Too Hot To Handle” –  Ian Wishart’s Centrist exclusive audit of Niwa historical records here

Read more over at Newsroom

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