A question-time exchange in the New Zealand Parliament a few days ago seemed worth drawing to the attention of Hot Topic’s readers. Green MP Kennedy Graham (pictured) put this question to the Minister for Climate Change Issues:
Is he concerned by a recent report of an international team of scientists that, even with a two degree Celsius rise in average global temperature, future generations could face sea levels of up to 12 to 22 metres higher than at present?
Kate Wilkinson, the Minister of Conservation, replied on behalf of the Minister for Climate Change Issues:
Yes. The estimates of sea level rise in this report are in line with estimates from the science community over the past few years. But I note that the author himself puts these estimates in context by stating that such changes could take centuries or millennia and that “The current trajectory for the 21st century global rise of sea level is 2 to 3 feet …”.
Graham’s follow-up question pointed out that the current Government guidelines for councils for sea level rise for 2100 are lower than the level estimated by scientists and asked whether the need for correction would be admitted.