New Zealand had its warmest summer since the start of the country’s record keeping, the national weather agency said on Tuesday, warning against a sustained rise in mercury for lack of a mobilization against global warming.
The temperature between December and February averaged 18.8 degrees in New Zealand, 2.1 degrees higher than the average recorded between 1981 and 2010, announced the National Institute for Aquatic and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
This is the highest average value since records began in 1909, exceeding the previous record (18.5 degrees) from 1934-35.
Mercury reached a record high of 38.7 degrees on January 30th in Alexandra, South Island.
NIWA’s chief forecaster, Chris Brandolino, said these exceptional temperatures were caused by a number of factors, including rising water temperatures and the arrival of hot air masses from the north as a result of the climatic phenomenon known as La Niña.
He explained that global warming was also at stake and that we should expect more temperature records if nothing was done to stop these disturbances.
“We expect in the next 10, 20, 30, 100 years that this will continue if we stay on the same path with respect to carbon emissions,” he said.
The heat wave led the government to declare drought conditions in some areas of the country and to take measures to help farmers.