Dr Andy Reisinger, of Wellington, outlines, at the
University of Otago yesterday, projected risks arising from
climate change. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
There is no room for complacency about the likely effects
of climate change on Dunedin and Otago, visiting climate
researchers Dr Andy Reisinger and Dr Judy Lawrence said in the
Dr Reisinger was a co-ordinating lead author for the Fifth
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
He previously held positions at the New Zealand Climate
Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.
Dr Lawrence, also of Wellington, is an adjunct research
associate at the institute.
The two researchers yesterday gave a public lecture at the
University of Otago on the meaning for communities of the
''latest climate change assessments''.
More than 100 people attended.
Dr Reisinger said the impact of climate change had become
significantly clearer in the recent international research
which had been referred to in the latest IPCC report.
The associated United Nations process was ''really
important'' for smaller countries such as New Zealand because
it gave them a chance to have significant influence.
The latest report had highlighted increased future risk of
droughts and of ''wildfires'' in some parts of New Zealand
Dunedin and Otago were ''not exempt'' from climate change
effects, he said in an interview.
Dr Lawrence said some parts of Dunedin, such as St Kilda,
were low-lying and could become prone to flooding in future
if there was significant sea level rise through global
Dunedin faced growing coastal challenges, including to assets
such as the sea wall at St Clair.
And droughts and fire risks were likely to increase in some
parts of inland Otago, she said.
Yesterday's lecture was given in association with the Otago
Energy Research Centre and the university's Centre for