9 Feb 2011

Scientists in capital to discuss extreme weather

10:07 pm on 9 February 2011

Hundreds of scientists have converged on Wellington to talk about the weather.

The Extreme Weather Conference is being held at Te Papa and will explore recent destructive storms including Cyclone Yasi which hit northern Queensland last week.

A keynote speaker, Scott Power from the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, says the extreme weather events of late have been caused by a very strong La Nina weather pattern.

During La Nina events there tends to be increased rainfall, more tropical cyclones in the region and an increased risk of flooding.

Dr Power says these natural changes have also been accompanied by climate change, which is likely to make these disasters more frequent in future.

"Global warming's proceeding and it's expected to accelerate over the coming decades, both in terms of temperature changes, rainfall changes and sea level rise."

He says 2010 was one of the warmest years on record.