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Environment Centre Hawke's Bay is operated by Sustaining Hawke's Bay Trust

Climate Change

The science on man-made climate change is overwhelming. Despite the naysayers and deniers (and there will always be some), many reputable organisations and experts have proven human influence on our environment is affecting change on the global climate systems at a rate far greater than we ever have. 


Is it too late? Are we doomed to flooding our coastal cities as sea-levels rise, to suffer ever longer droughts and more severe floods and weather patterns? The short answer is - not yet. The projections from scientists indicate we can make a difference, we can make changes now to prevent overwhelming catastrophe, but we need to act, and we need to act quickly. 


What is climate change? 


Climate change is the unnatural alteration of the earth's climate system by man-made influence. That is - we;re throwing mother nature out of whack. We contribute to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide and methane) into the air. The increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap more radiation (heat energy) from the sun in our atmosphere, causing a gradual but persistent increase in global temperatures. Increased global temperatures of even a few points of a degree can have major impacts - melting of polar icecaps which leads to increased sea levels; lower rainfall and drought in many areas; increased rainfall and frequency and severity of storms and other adverse weather events. These changes not only impact on our natural environment, they can drastically shape our human experience too. Droughts, floods, coastal erosion due to sea level rise, changes in ocean currents due to altered temperature gradients... all of these will be felt by us. 


In Hawke's Bay, we already experience drought, we already experience coastal erosion, and the occasional very bad storm. These are just a taste of what's to come if we don't smarten up, and soon!


For information on Climate Change, and how we can tackle it, check out these links: