27th September 2023 – (Wellington) According to data released by the statistics department Stats NZ on Wednesday, eight out of the ten warmest years ever recorded in New Zealand up to 2022 occurred within the past decade.
Stats NZ’s senior manager of environment and agricultural statistics, Stuart Jones, highlighted that average annual temperatures have been on the rise nationwide over the past century, with 2022 marking the warmest year in recorded history.
Jones emphasized that the data collected from various sites across New Zealand over the past 114 years demonstrate long-term climate changes, consistently indicating an upward trend in temperatures. Between 1909 and 2022, New Zealand’s annual average temperature increased by 1.26 degrees Celsius.
The statistics further reveal that average annual temperatures at all 30 monitored sites across the country have shown an increase from 1972 to 2022. These rising temperatures are observable across seasons, with each site reporting warmer winters. Additionally, 28 out of the 30 sites experienced warmer summers and autumns.
These temperature trends align with the global pattern of increasing average temperatures, which have risen by approximately 1 degree Celsius over the past century. Stuart Jones emphasized that such rising temperatures can have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, energy demand, ecosystems, and recreational activities.
To provide updated information, Stats NZ has revised its temperature environmental indicator, demonstrating the national average temperatures from 1909 to 2022. This indicator is based on the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s seven-station temperature series.