Cli­mate model pre­dicts mixed bag

NZ Grower - - Water For Life -

DE­PEND­ING on the cli­mate and emis­sions mod­els con­sid­ered, Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment be­lieves that, by 2090, the time spent in drought for Gis­borne could be more than dou­ble that of 1995, and droughts are likely to in­crease in both in­ten­sity and du­ra­tion.

“More fre­quent droughts are likely to lead to wa­ter short­ages, in­creased de­mand for ir­ri­ga­tion and in­creased risk of wild fires, (plus) drier av­er­age con­di­tions po­ten­tially com­bined with more in­tense rain­fall at times, could lead to in­creased prob­lems with ero­sion and flood­ing.”

It's not all bad . . . warmer tem­per­a­tures, a longer grow­ing sea­son and fewer frosts could pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties to grow new crops and farm­ers might ben­e­fit from faster growth of pas­ture and bet­ter crop grow­ing con­di­tions, says MfE.

“How­ever, th­ese ben­e­fits may be lim­ited by neg­a­tive ef­fects of cli­mate change such as pro­longed drought or greater fre­quency and in­ten­sity of storms.

“Some crops may no longer be eco­nomic in the Gis­borne re­gion and there will be in­creas­ing pres­sure on wa­ter re­sources.”

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