NZ had second warmest year on record

23:30, Jan 05 2014
A graph showing the temperature increase. The zero line is the average temperature from 1961-1990.
A graph showing the historic temperature increase. The zero line is the average temperature from 1961-1990.

New Zealand has emerged from its second-warmest year and warmest winter on record, with Invercargill, Timaru, Omarama, Masterton and the Chatham Islands all having record years.

Climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger released the figures this morning, showing 2013's winter beat all others for warmth since records began in 1870.

Last year as a whole was the country's second-warmest on record with temperatures on average 0.84 degrees Celsius above normal. The only year it was hotter was 1998, which was 0.89C above average.

The New Zealand regional mean temperature for 2013 was derived from 22 land stations, and 3 offshore islands.

Record annual mean temperatures were recorded in the south east of the South Island, Salinger said.

Winter 2013 mean temperatures were 1.27 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average, the highest on record.

Dr Salinger said the above-average temperatures were expected to continue this year. Average temperatures of 0.2 to 0.6 degrees C above average for the New Zealand region were predicted.

However, it was bad news, because it followed a global trend which an intergovernmental panel on climate change report blames on "increasing greenhouse gases augmenting the greenhouse effect".

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