Saturday, April 19, 2008
The Canyoning incident reports, from experts, observers and victims and the public discussions thus far have omitted one crucial 'factor' in this tragedy. [Six students and one teacher have died after a school adventure course turned to tragedy.]
The role of localised intense rainfall in NZ is a function of our geographics AND weather systems. The increased capacity of the atmosphere to hold water vapor AND the the increased polar/tropic climate differentials [energy] is under a climate change scenario likely to increase the incidence and severity of river and weather related events.
Just as the burden of uninsured risk is increasing seven times faster than growth in GDP (ask the Insurance Actuaries) every time we send our kids into wilderness areas we present them with the burden of exposure to the increasing risk of adverse climatological events.
Bellwethers marking climate change can be the scale of Sub-Saharan Africa or just as logically, a bad weekend at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
Some would be critical of linking this to climate change, but in the words of Pete Hodgson after the Manawatu floods, 'this is what climate change looks like'.
It was as it were, our kind of New Orleans.
Posted by Blair Anderson at 12:54 AM