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18 Jun 2021 04:26:05

Climate change and the Canterbury floods

Posted: 02 Jun 2021

Victoria University climate change expert James Renwick says it will be “very surprising” if there isn’t climate change significance to what happened in Canterbury given the speed with which rivers rose and the amount of rain that fell.

“That’s exactly what we expect with climate change: it’s drier when it’s dry and it’s wetter when it’s wetter.”

The good news is that if we cut emissions now, the predicted increase in severe weather events will not happen. Glaciers and ice caps will continue to melt even if we drastically reduce emissions now, because they take many years to respond to climate change. bBut the increase in extreme weather events and storms will stop “pretty quickly”, Renwick says.