Record warm half year

It has been a noticeably mild summer, autumn and now start of the winter.

Here in Dunedin plants are budding and flowering unseasonally, there has been a distinct lack of cold southerly weather patterns, and there have been only a small number of mild frosts. Yesterday morning dawned clear and calm but with no frost, which was remarkable for the end of June.

And what is being observed and felt is backed up by the numbers. NIWA says that the first half of 2016 will easily be the warmest on record in New Zealand.

RNZ: NZ feeling the heat as 2016 shapes up to be record-breaker

Scientists are warning New Zealand’s record-breaking temperatures are causing a surge in the numbers of agricultural pests and , ongoing drought, with predictions the problem is set to get worse.

Findings by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) show the first half of 2016 is shaping up to be the warmest since records began in 1909.

NIWA’s findings show every month of the year to June was at least half a degree more than the average from 1981 to 2010.

NIWA forecaster Chris Brandolino said if the mild conditions continued until the end of June, temperatures for the last six months would end up at above 1.3°C degrees above average, making it the warmest first six months of the year on record.

The months of March, April and May were the second warmest autumn on record, and May the warmest May ever.

NIWA said greenhouse gases, an increase in warm northerly winds and warmer sea surface temperatures were the reasons for the record temperatures.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) September 2013 report found that “as temperatures increase, so do risks of serious and irreversible damage”.

Individually we may enjoy it – personally I don’t mind the warmer weather – but it is raising concerns about the overall effect of climate change and the speed with which our planet appears to be warming up.

NASATemperatureIndex

NASA Global Climate Change

This graph illustrates the change in global surface temperature relative to 1951-1980 average temperatures. The 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000, with the exception of 1998. The year 2015 ranks as the warmest on record. (Source: NASA/GISS). This research is broadly consistent with similar constructions prepared by the Climatic Research Unit and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

When most of the world’s climate scientists, and most of the climate models, and most of the climate data, and our own experiences all correlate then it’s getting more difficult to deny we have change, and the rate of change is potentially alarming.

65 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  30th June 2016

    Pay more tax Pete and all will be well.

    • Blazer

       /  30th June 2016

      or change the behaviour of environmental vandals…..oops that affects….profits!

      • Gezza

         /  30th June 2016

        Might have to pay more tax. Unlikely your missus will be able to donate anything.

        • Gezza

           /  30th June 2016

          @ Brown Blazer. Sorry about that. I always assume you’re single.

  2. Mefrostate

     /  30th June 2016

    It’s been fully established that the world is warming, but unfortunately it’s been quite easy for skeptics to shift their narrative from “no the world isn’t warming” to “it might not be the fault of humans”. All they have to do is create enough doubt to kick the can a little further down the road, and there’s plenty of companies willing to pay to help achieve this.

    • PDB

       /  30th June 2016

      It is actually the alarmists that have changed from ‘global warming due to humans’ to a more generic ‘climate change’ that encompasses anything that may happen in our climate.

      We should be thankful we live in a period of warming coming off a mini-ice age, at some stage beyond our life time the earth will cool (as it has in the distant past) which won’t be nearly as much fun. ‘Climate change’ is natural, the earth has been warmer than this in the past – it is nothing ‘new’.

      PG: “and most of the climate models” – and how many of the climate models have been correct up until this point? 5% max. If this was any other subject the climate models & predictions would have been slammed & disregarded for their inaccuracies long ago.

      • Mefrostate

         /  30th June 2016

        ‘they changed the terminology’ Check

        ‘the climate always changes’ Check (with bonus: warm is better than cold!)

        ‘computer models are inaccurate’ Check!

        That’s a hat trick! There’s perfectly valid scientific explanations to rebut to each of your (rhetoric-laden) points, should you be interested in exploring them. I suspect you’d rather not bother, but you could at least stop with those sorts of simplistic arguments on such a serious matter?

        • Iceberg

           /  30th June 2016

          Nah, no point having a scientific argument about a political issue.

        • PDB

           /  30th June 2016

          ‘The science is settled’ – there you go Mefrostate, wrapped your non-arguments all up in one for you.

      • Blazer

         /  30th June 2016

        well downtrou you better hope it doesn’t get any hotter,you are well cooked’ already.

        • PDB

           /  30th June 2016

          I’d be more concerned on how increasingly bitter you are getting Blazer rather than the climate changing……..

          • Blazer

             /  30th June 2016

            such priorities just emphasize your real contempt for a serious issue.

            • PDB

               /  30th June 2016

              You’re right – with what you post you can’t be taken seriously

            • Blazer

               /  30th June 2016

              no need to be ‘concerned’ then …right!

    • Iceberg

       /  30th June 2016

      Because there’s no incentives to keep the warming rhetoric alive?

      • Mefrostate

         /  30th June 2016

        That ‘rhetoric’ being peer reviewable scientific studies?

        Regardless, in my consulting experience, the private sector pays significantly better than the public one. When the industry which stands to gain the most from climate skepticism is one which has gone as far as to start wars and overthrow governments to get its way, I would expect the incentives to flow heavily in their direction.

        • Iceberg

           /  30th June 2016

          I think you’ll find that the flow of money towards warmists projects is about $1.5 Trillion a year and rising. Do you really think that any of the thousands who flew to Paris in private jets were there to put a hold on the money flow towards them and their projects?

          • Blazer

             /  30th June 2016

            good point frosty.Wherever private jets are involved,so is…pelf!

            • Blazer

               /  30th June 2016

              ‘filthy lucre’….talking about…archaic!

          • Mefrostate

             /  30th June 2016

            Can you link me to the study which found that amount? All I can find are articles repeating it, on sites like Breitbart.

            • Iceberg

               /  30th June 2016

              Let’s say you’re a scientist. I have $1million dollars to give you every year to find a link between C02 and warming, so that I can then make policy decisions based on your findings. I can only give it to you if you study C02 (none other of the hundred other possible causes, because the IPCC is only linking C02 to climate). The money dries up if you find no link.

              What do you think you will find?

              Let’s also say you’re a lefty, you believe the planet is rooted (because that’s the default setting), and rich people are making the world more rooted (because otherwise there’s no need to be a lefty). Isn’t the transfer of wealth away from rich to poor and the increase government (because of the huge legislative and spending plans with AGW) right up your alley?

              Now combine the two, and what do you get?

            • Mefrostate

               /  30th June 2016

              Sorry, Iceberg. I think you missed my question above. I want actually looking for that sort of hypothetical response (although, if you like, I could write something equally irrelevant about the incentives for oil firms and ‘righties’).

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              pelf!
              Added to my lexicon. Thanks for that.

            • Iceberg

               /  30th June 2016

              then we would have gone full circle… back to “It’s a political issue”

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th June 2016

              Pelf is a good, archaic word. (smirks) I knew what it meant-it was still used in c.19 literature of which I have many examples. It’s usually used in a contemptuous way, as it’s connected to pilfering.

              Private jets needn’t be connected to filthy lucre, they are as likely to be honestly earned-or more likely, probably-than not. What fun to have one. The dog and I could have a lovely time in our own plane. I know people who have planes, but not, as far as I know, jets.

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              Can you courier my drone back Kitty? It ran out of juice, didn’t think you’d be so long coming outside.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th June 2016

              Can it wait until I’ve won Lotto ? Sorry about that. The dog would run it back, but I don’t trust his road sense for such a long (w-word) alone.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th June 2016

              I have to spell it out or use the w-word code, as he knows what a W-A-L-K is when someone says the word. There’s a dog somewhere who knows 1000 words; mine only has 9985 to go and he’ll beat that. Nearly there….

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              I just want to check what’s on the camera. Can you maybe just unclip that and send that back. You can keep the drone. They’re not that expensive.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th June 2016

    Nobody denies there is change. Nobody sensible is surprised that a large El Nino year is a warm year. However the leap to concluding the rate of change is alarming requires evidence – at least for me.

    Roy Spencer (cue personal attacks from the alarmists) has a lot of interesting posts here for those who like to think before panicking: http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    • Mefrostate

       /  30th June 2016

      What are your thoughts on the criticisms of the assumptions and mistakes made in his model with Braswell?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  30th June 2016

        I haven’t studied it so I don’t have any. What are your thoughts on his response?:
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/10/our-initial-comments-on-the-abraham-et-al-critique-of-the-spencer-braswell-1d-model/

        • Mefrostate

           /  30th June 2016

          I haven’t studied it so I don’t have any. I don’t pretend to understand the science anyway, that’s why we have scientists.

          Although I’m unsure why Spencer felt like he could only respond on his website, and that there has been nothing forthcoming in the academic literature. Abraham et al’s response, however, was peer reviewed and published.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  30th June 2016

            I’m equally unsure of why Abraham doesn’t seem to have responded to Spencer’s rebuttal of his critique – and why apparently the “peer review” of his critique did not invite Spencer to respond?

            Though I can guess.

            • Mefrostate

               /  30th June 2016

              It’s not a “peer review”, it’s a peer review. Standard practice in science. I’m not sure whether the standard practice is to offer invitation to respond, but I assume that the default is for that invitation to be permanently open.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  30th June 2016

              I would have presumed the same until I read numerous accounts to the contrary in “climate science”.

    • Alan Wilkinson’s reference to Dr Roy Spenser’s articles on Climate Change versus Global Warming should be compulsory reading in this debate. He indicates the lack of real research into climate change, refutes the ideas that CO2 is to blame, and questions blind acceptance of the idea that climate change is caused by humankind. Instead he supports my contention last year about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A well argued series of papers from a PhD in Climatology. Thanks Alan.

      • Gezza

         /  1st July 2016

        The post-industrial increase in atmospheric carbon from fossil fuels is concrete though, isn’t it? Must be having some effect on top of natural warming? Methane from tundra in permafrost too?

  4. Zedd

     /  30th June 2016

    About 20 years ago.. there was a blanket denial that ‘climate change/global warming’ was even occurring. Now it seems the majority accept it is.. BUT the deniers have moved to ‘no proof it is human induced’ & say its ‘just part of a normal cycle’ . Maybe in another 20 years (if places like Sth D are ‘at sea level’ or below) these ‘deniers’ will be calling on their ‘experts’ to come up with another EXCUSE.. to continue burning fossil fuels, at increasing rates/levels !

    Why not just look at the evidence & face the FACTS people.. ? Pull your heads out.. 😦

    • Iceberg

       /  30th June 2016

      Maybe its because 20 years ago the predictions were no more polar bears, 50 million climate refugees, no more snow in winter, more hurricanes, calamity, doom and death. How did those work out? How did the temperature rise predictions of 20 years ago work out? Sea level rise predictions?

      I think you’ll find the majority don’t accept it, and in fact it’s way down the list of priorties for the majority.

      If only we would face the FACTS!

      • Zedd

         /  30th June 2016

        look out ice.. its getting hotter & you (or your ideas) may just melt away 😀

        • Iceberg

           /  30th June 2016

          My bad. Expecting you to sustain an argument beyond your initial brain fart, was a bit too ambitious.

  5. Brown

     /  30th June 2016

    If it gets warmer even Dunedin may have a future. A two edged sword perhaps but Pete will live longer because the cold won’t get him.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  30th June 2016

      Dunedin is a lovely place. My only objection to it is the COLD. I wish that it could be moved in its entirety to the North Island-like the other beautiful South Island cities. To a history scholar, these places are a wonderful treat.

      • Gezza

         /  30th June 2016

        If we leave the faults behind and shift Welly up to Northland nobody would want to live anywhere else.

      • Zedd

         /  30th June 2016

        @kck

        I agree Dn. is a lovely place.. the ‘best little city in NZ’ to my mind
        Its only cold for 3-4 months.. the way things are going, maybe this will reduce to 1-2.
        BUT if that happens, some areas (esp. Sth D) may no longer be Dunedin, but part of the South Pacific ! 😦

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  30th June 2016

          Sigh….it’s a historian’s dream. But it’s cold in MAY-or was when I spent a while there. I love also Oamaru and Timaru…why weren’t they built up here ?

          Wellington is where I love best, I lived there for a long time.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th June 2016
  7. Zedd

     /  30th June 2016

    Once more for the ‘deniers’ :

    CO2 has now reportedly past 400ppm (up from about 300 in 1970s ?) I dont think there is any doubt this is caused by increased emissions from burning increasing amounts of FOSSIL FUELS. Also the increased cutting down of the forests (spec. Amazon basin)

    CO2 is a ‘Greenhouse gas’; the more there is in the atmosphere.. the warmer it gets.

    The oceans do act as a ‘sink’, BUT they are reaching ‘saturation levels’ with tests showing increased acidity from absorption, now turning the sea water into CARBONIC ACID & killing sea life & coral reefs.

    Ignore it.. at the risk of increased extinctions & the earth becoming less inhabitable. We don’t have another planet that we can all move to !

    You can always find ‘an expert’ who will present ‘alternative evidence’ (if you pay enough) BUT it gets harder to ‘prove this’ when the corals on the Great Barrier Reef (off Aust.) have been shown recently to be DYING off in massive amounts 😦

    B-S is always B-S & 99% is coming from the Climate change deniers.

    • Gezza

       /  30th June 2016

      Climate change has cranked up in North Welly today. Southerly zephyr, heavy rain @ about 45 degrees angle. Unusual. Hope it’s tonight the pollies fly home. Hope Gezza Brownlee flies home in a Hercules. Might get him re-thinking whether they’re spending enough on aircraft.

    • Gezza

       /  30th June 2016

      Problem is two generally well-connected, well-paid sets of experts (& reporters/bloggers) connected to opposing interests preaching different datasets, graphs and interpretations over the heads of the ignorant.

      Summer here in Welly has shifted out by 6-8 weeks from 1974 in my experience. Can’t remember the last time I saw a puddle with ice in Winter. Planet is definitely warming, though that’s not in dispute. My feeling based on the contradictory stuff I try to assess is that we probably are accelerating the warming whether it’s happening naturally anyway or not.

      Weather forecasting is generally getting better as a result of improved techniques. They often get the time & precise details of what to expect wrong though. Sometimes you just have stick your finger up in the wind & wait & see.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  30th June 2016

        The so-called deniers seem to be not denying global warming but the cause-it is known to be cyclical. In the meantime, I may as well like it and the lower power bills. It’s so nice to be able to have doors and windows open in midwinter. This is the equivalent of the end of December/beginning of January in the UK, and I wasn’t walking around barefoot and opening doors and windows then. I arrived at the beginning of January-I went down 48 degrees in 24 hours !!! This June is like a June I remember in England. I was at The Dickens Festival and was so cold that I had to keep diving into cafes for hot drinks. And I was wearing winter clothes.How the festival people in period costume didn’t die of cold in their cotton and silk dresses is a mystery to me. Maybe they had thermal undies on.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th June 2016

    Why would coral on Great Barrier Reef die from heat or acidity when hotter coral islands on the equator have survived for millennia?

    Another alarmist fallacy: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coral-reefs-show-remarkable-ability-to-recover-from-near-death/

  9. Kitty Catkin

     /  30th June 2016

    How do people explain the warming up after the many (well, several) ice ages ? There was one in the Tudor era, but I don’t know how long it lasted. Read Shakespeare’s poem about winter to see what it was like. One feels frozen just READING it .

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  30th June 2016

      What about this in lieu of a heater Kitzy?? XD

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  30th June 2016

      Read the article I linked, Kitty. The explanation is a combination of low CO2 levels destroying plant life creating deserts, consequential dust storms making the arctic dirty thereby absorbing more heat and a 23,000 year sun cycle peaking.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  30th June 2016

        I’ll take your word for it.

        This room is filled with the scent of spring flowers, I have seen some agapanthuses out and one of my trees had some new leaves-these disappeared again, but the branches of many of the trees have visible leaf buds. The roses (many of them) have forgotten to stop and the daisy bushes have, too.