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Ed Sheeran

Grim warning as mercury stays high
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A Māori climate change activist says it’s too late to adapt if you’re dead.

Hinekaa Mako says news 2019 was New Zealand’s fourth warmest year on record comes as no surprise, given the overall pattern around the world.

NIWA’s annual climate summary found it has now been 35 months since New Zealand had a month with below-average temperatures.

The average temperature was 13.37 degrees, compared with the hottest year, 2016, at 13.45 degrees.

Ms Mako says previously derided predictions that average temperatures could spike up like a hockey stick now seem on the mark.

She says it’s time to get serious about mitigation and adaptation to what is coming.

“We have a decade now to think about it and it's going to be impossible to adapt if we are dead, and if we keep increasing at the rate we are, the temperature levels are too high to sustain living in the same way that we have, so we have to make changes,” she says.

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