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Letters to Nature
Nature 256, 396 - 398 (31 July 1975); doi:10.1038/256396a0

Recent climatic warming around New Zealand


*Department of Physiology, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand
Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

MANY papers have described the climatic fortunes of areas in the Northern Hemisphere over the past few hundred years; the progressive warming during 1890–1940, and the present deterioration. Some people have suggested that the globe could be descending into an ice age (see ref. 1), but such assumptions are derived mainly from data for the Northern Hemisphere. Moreover, data for the Southern Hemisphere used2,3 so far have chiefly been obtained from locations between the Equator and 40 °S. Information from higher latitudes, where any variations are amplified, is sparse. Here we present the results of an examination of a small area in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere which has been warming over the past thirty years.



1. Keyzer, R., New Zealand Listener, 77, 13–15 (1975).
2. Mitchell, J. M. Jr, Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 95, 235–250 (1961).
3. Mitchell, J. M. Jr, Quat. Res. (NY), 2, 436–445 (1972).
4. Statistics of New Zealand, 1860-1927 (New Zealand Government Printer, Wellington), (Registrar General's Office; subsequently Government Statistician; subsequently Census and Statistics Department; now Department of Statistics).
5. New zealand Meteorological Service, Meteorological Observations, 1928-1973, (New Zealand Government Printer, Wellington).
6. World Weather Records, Smithsonian Misc. Colls., 79, (1944).
7. Ibid. 90, (1944).
8. Ibid, 105, (1947).

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