30 Dec 2008

NZ climate much warmer earlier

3:12 pm on 30 December 2008

New research suggests New Zealand's climate 50 million years ago could have been up to 10 degrees Celsius warmer than was initially thought.

In a report to be published in the scientific journal Geology next month, sea temperatures during the Eocene period are said to have reached 30 degrees Celsius, providing spa-like conditions.

Dr Chris Hollis of GNS Science told Summer Report the findings suggest the models currently used to predict the climate have been getting it wrong.

Dr Hollis said current models may be underestimating the future effect that greenhouse gases will have on climate change.