The effects of global warming and climate in New Zealand pose devastating risks to citizens’ health, the environment and the society as a whole. New Zealand might not be in the top 20 countries contributing negatively to global warming, but it doesn’t mean the country is out of the woods yet. Experts predict that even with individual reductions in contributions, a lot worse lies ahead in the future.

The Future of Climate Change

The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment (MfE) explains that many of the existing factors are going to worsen in the next century and likely further into the future. The latest climate predictions reveal the following effects by the end of the twenty-first century: higher temperatures, especially in the North Island; continuously rising sea levels; extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods; an increase in rainfall patterns.

The Direct Results

The direct effects of these changing conditions will be warmer winters but hotter summers, which can lead to droughts, species extinction, spreading of disease and agricultural setbacks, as well as an increase of water usage. Increased rainfall will raise the potential for overflowing rivers and flash flooding of sewers and drains. Rising water levels will also increase erosion and the need for coastal protection.

A Glance At Only One Region

Specific predictions are available for each region’s future on the MfE website. For example, the predictions for Auckland, based on current trends and extensive data and research, show a potential 13 percent decrease in spring rainfalls by 2090. The average temperature for each season also sees an expected 3 degrees Celsius increase by 2090. These are but a few of the expected worsening effects in the future and for only one region of the country.

Should the future of climate change and global warming continue to worsen according to these trends, it could ultimately lead to an inhabitable country and, eventually Earth.