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  • What are the drivers of temperature increases and variability in New Zealand region from 1870 to 2024, and future trends. A lecture by Jim Salinger

What are the drivers of temperature increases and variability in New Zealand region from 1870 to 2024, and future trends. A lecture by Jim Salinger

  • 27 Jun 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • LBLT118 Laby Building Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade

Royal Society Te Apārangi Wellington Branch and the Royal Society Te Apārangi Joint Public Lecture

Dr Jim Salinger, Victoria University of Wellington

Surface temperatures in the New Zealand (NZ) region, including land and sea, from instrumental temperature measurements have increased rapidly in recent decades. This huge area of 4 million km2 shows an increase of over ~0.7°C from 1871-2024. Future warming from the late 19th century is projected to be 2 to be 3°C by 2100. The principal cause of these increases is the dramatic increase in greenhouse gases from human sources. However, significant variability can occur from year to year, and between decades from natural causes. Six significant volcanic eruptions have caused temporary cooling, whereas positive episodes in the Southern Annular Mode, when westerly winds strengthens over the Southern Oceans causes warning. The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) causes swings between cooler El Niño and warmer La Niña periods of climate. Overall anthropogenic warming signal from greenhouse increases, are projected to cause further warming during this century.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, Dr Jim Salinger has devoted his research career to climate change and variability including first uncovering warming in New Zealand in the 1970s. He contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Winner of international and overseas awards, Jim is based at Victoria University of Wellington, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science.

Brief Biography
Dr. Jim Salinger CRSNZ, a distinguished international climate scientist, has dedicated almost fifty years to advancing climate science. Recognised as one of the first scientists to address global warming, his pioneering work in 1975 marked the inception of a remarkable career. Jim’s contributions include ground-breaking research on Southern Hemisphere climate change, earning him the prestigious NZ Science and Technology Medal in 1994. With over 190 publications and counting, Jim is an influential communicator on climate change, addressing audiences nationwide.

He was a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. More recently, Jim has garnered multiple accolades, including the 2018 World Meteorological Organization Award and the 2019 Jubilee Medal, in recognition of his lifetime achievements in climate and agricultural science. Today, he remains an advocate for environmental responsibility, offering practical advice through talks around the country and is a founding member of the inter-generational ambassadors – a collective looking to unite New Zealander’s across the generations for positive change.

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