AP

Natural, manmade factors behind New Zealand’s hottest year

Jan 10, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 12:06 am

FILE - The learners' slope is almost devoid of snow at the Tūroa ski field on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zea...

FILE - The learners' slope is almost devoid of snow at the Tūroa ski field on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand on Sept. 21, 2022. 2022 was New Zealand's hottest year on record, breaking a record set just one year ago by a significant margin. Scientists say a La Nina weather system and climate change are among the factors that led to the result. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)

(AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand had its hottest year on record in 2022, beating a mark set just a year earlier thanks to a combination of natural weather cycles and manmade global warming, the agency that monitors temperatures said Wednesday.

The nation’s top four hottest years have all been recorded since 2016, and scientists don’t see the trend reversing. Records are being broken around the globe, with Spain and Britain among other nations to also hit new highs in 2022.

And as well as being warm, 2022 was also one of New Zealand’s wettest years. August storms flooded rivers, triggered landslides and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.

In October, two of the country’s largest ski areas were placed into a type of bankruptcy proceeding following a disastrous winter season with barely any snow.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, which has been recording temperatures since 1909, said the average temperature across the country in 2022 was 13.8 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit).

That was more than 1.2 degrees Celsius above the long-term average and beat the previous record by 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Chris Brandolino, a principal scientist with the agency, said the high temperatures were driven by a combination of weather cycles including the La Niña system, which brings cooler-than-normal ocean temperatures to the tropical Pacific and warmer air to New Zealand.

He said manmade factors also contributed.

“Climate change continues to influence New Zealand’s long-term temperature trend,” Brandolino told reporters.

He said the levels of carbon dioxide measured in the atmosphere near Wellington keep rising.

“Unfortunately you can see that trend, dating back to before 2014, continues to go upward and in the wrong direction,” he said.

Brandolino said there was no discernable effect on last year’s weather from the massive eruption of a volcano in Tonga.

He said he expects the first few months of 2023 to continue being warmer and wetter than normal, and for temperatures over time to keep rising.

“It’s hard to see us breaking from the trend that we are on,” Brandolino said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

6 minutes ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

18 hours ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

2 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

3 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

4 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

5 days ago

Natural, manmade factors behind New Zealand’s hottest year