2015 is officially the hottest year on record according to NASA, news which the executive director of Greenpeace NZ calls “disturbing” for an island nation like New Zealand.

In the last couple of hours, climate experts from the space agency made the announcement about what they call “record-shattering” global temperatures in 2015. Watch the video here.

The analyses revealed 2015 was the warmest since record-keeping began, a change largely driven by human-made emissions, NASA says. Since the late-19th Century, the Earth has warmed about one degree Celsius.

Greenpeace’s Russel Norman says the results are a clear indicator that climate change is happening now and will have drastic consequences.

“We need to be backing 100% clean, non-polluting energy and investing in renewable technology,” he says.

“Instead, John Key is subsidising and encouraging new deep sea oil exploration. Even in the wake of the Paris climate conference, the Government is fawning over foreign oil companies and helping drive the very pollution that is threatening the places we live.

“Some of the first countries to bear the brunt of this warming will be the Pacific Islands. For New Zealand and our neighbours, NASA has delivered disturbing news.”

Norman says we can expect to see more extreme weather events such as storms, floods and droughts.

“As the planet heats up further, melting glaciers and ocean acidification will lead to sea level rise, and coastal communities will be the first to go.

“The recent report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment showed that the increase in sea levels could force tens of thousands of New Zealand families out of their homes and cost tens of billions of dollars.”

Just yesterday, the Government moved to extend the drought status in the South Island for another six months due to the widespread dry conditions.


See the NASA announcement here.