Barring unforeseen weather in the next few weeks, New Zealand will record its hottest year on record.
Barring unforeseen weather in the next few weeks, New Zealand will record its hottest year on record. MICK TSIKAS

NZ set for its hottest year on record

THIS year is set to become New Zealand's hottest on record, breaking the record set in 1998, scientists say.

Temperatures for the rest of the year would have to drop to more than a degree below normal for three weeks to avoid the record.

However, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research forecasters say warmer than average temperatures are likely for the rest of December in the east of the both islands, with near-average temperatures everywhere else.

Institute climate data shows more than 70 places across the country are poised to set mean temperature records with Auckland and Hamilton likely to record their warmest year on record and Wellington its second warmest.

The national temperature observations date from 1909.

NZ's mean temperature for 2016 is 0.94 degrees above the 1981-2010 average. The previous warmest January- November year was 1999, when the temperature was 0.88 degrees above average.

The first seven months of 2016 were all warmer than normal, and only August had been below normal this year.

NIWAR principal scientist climate Dr Brett Mullan said the figures were in line with global average temperatures and confirm the longer-term trends of climate change.

"What we are seeing is the stark reality of global warming,” he said.

- NZ HERALD



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