Climate scientist shares perspectives on extreme weather

As New Zealand lurches its way through winter amid record-breaking rainfall in parts of the North Island, a leading climate scientist will be sharing his insights at a meeting in Warkworth this week.

Kevin Trenberth, whose talk is entitled “Climate change and extreme weather: a New Zealand perspective”, was a lead author of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessments in 1995, 2001 and 2007.

In 2007, the IPCC and climate change advocate Al Gore shared the Nobel peace prize, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.

According to NIWA, 11 locations in New Zealand recorded more than a year’s worth of rain in the first six months of 2023, six of them in the northern part of the North Island – Kaikohe, Whangārei, Warkworth, Leigh, Whangaparāoa, and Albany/North Shore. Kaikohe topped the record-breakers, recording more than 130 per cent of its normal annual rainfall between January and June.

Christchurch-born Trenberth, 78, is an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.

He will be speaking at Besoul, 12 Gumfield Drive at 2pm on August 18. RSVP: Professor Ralph Cooney at