Scientists predict Wellington's climate will become more like Sydney's

Oriental Bay, Wellington.
Oriental Bay, Wellington. Photo credit: Newshub/ Simon Wong

Climate change scientists predict the Wellington region could see a temperature rise of up to 3 degrees by 2090 - putting its climate more on par with Sydney.

A new report commissioned by the Greater Wellington Regional Council shows that temperatures will be heating up in the city in the next few decades.

Temperatures above 25 degrees are rare and celebrated in Wellington. They happen about 6 days a year at the moment but in 2090 the city will be basking in 26 so called 'hot' days. 

The Wairarapa gets around 30 hot days at the moment but by 2090, 60 more hot days are expected.

The number of days of very high and extreme forest fire danger are set to increase 100 to 150 percent by 2090.

Droughts will be more frequent - which may reduce crop and pasture growth, kill plants and stress cattle.

In the high elevations of the Tararua Ranges scientists predict that frosts will decrease from 30 per year to near zero by 2090.

Greater Wellington Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw says the Government isn't doing enough to combat climate change.

"The argument that somehow we are so small that whatever we do won't matter, doesn't hold any water."

The Wairarapa will also be struggling to hold water with these predictions, with the region having the highest risk of drought.

NIWA chief scientist Dr Sam Dean says it's not all doom and gloom, but it's about making choices for the future.

"The key for us now is not to see this as a big hairy problem for the future but climate change is with us now - it's already different and our decisions we make today will have a big influence on what happens.

At this stage we can be very hopeful that the right thing will happen and that none of this will come to pass."