Climate model predicts mixed bag
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.”