Today, the NZ Herald announced:
New Zealand’s climate is forecast to warm by at least 1°C by 2050, while the average rate for the world has been put at more than 2°C.
The article said it was good news for wine. James Renwick was asked to comment and thought stonefruit and pipfruit wouldn’t suit warmer conditions and “other potential negatives included more floods and cyclones, sea level rises, and more plant and insect pests.” (There’s always someone with a gloomy view, isn’t there?)
But this move in temperatures is hard to reconcile with what we know.
Three times faster warming
First, NIWA told us that New Zealand warmed between 1910 and 2010 50% more than the rest of the world (NZ 0.92°C v. REST OF THE WORLD 0.6°C).
Second, David Wratt told us that in the future our warming would be LESS than the rest of the world, because of the ocean around us. When he said that, he had already issued his graph showing NZ warming was ALREADY 50% greater than the rest of the world. Well, all right, so our warming will slow down and the world will overtake us, right? Simple.
But this morning we learn the latest news, that over the next 37 years we’ll warm ANOTHER WHOLE DEGREE, at a rate 2.7 times FASTER THAN THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS.
So, yes, the world will overtake us, but no, our warming won’t slow down.
In warming faster, we fall behind
That’s a GIANT increase in warming compared with 0.3°C — NIWA’s 11-station series proves it. But even with this prodigious warming, which nobody alive has experienced before, we will fall behind global warming.
So our rate of warming is now to increase enormously, way above recent experience, but then it will still be only half the rate of warming in the rest of the world.
Why is this happening? Can David Wratt explain why the rate is changing so dramatically? It cannot possibly be our emissions of carbon dioxide, because surely they are not about to triple, and while they continued rising steadily over the last 20 years, temperatures did not.
I’m not the only one bewildered by this — in Dunedin, Jock Allison is also scratching his head. He says it’s “of some wonderment” that NIWA claims we have warmed by 0.9°C in the last 100 years, faster than elsewhere in the world. He adds that NIWA’s corrections create much of this faster warming, and I must agree with him on that.
Yet, Jock says, we are expected to warm more slowly than the rest of the world to 2050, by which time the predictions are that the world will be warmer by 2°C. He says the situation’s ripe to put some serious bets on, but we’ll hardly live long enough to collect! What a shame. That reminds me:
Time is short
This accelerated warming had better get a move on, because it only has 37 years to get there, and it hasn’t started yet. Two degrees globally in 37 years from nothing is the same as 5.4°C over 100 years. Now that would be unprecedented.
The global temperature has just spent about 20 years mooching around going nowhere (depending on whose dataset you examine and who you talk to). Hard to believe it’s about to burst from the blocks and win the Olympic 100 metre sprint.
Hard to believe predictions of the desperate.
PS: Any mistakes are my fault. Please report them.