WELLINGTON, New Zealand – January was the hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand, and experts say climate change is one factor.
The heat has led to a shortage of fans that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern jokingly referred to as "fan-ageddon." Ardern says that while many people are probably enjoying a great summer, they also need to consider the long-term consequences of climate change, including sea-level rise.
Figures released Friday by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research indicate the average temperature during January was 20.3 degrees Celsius (68.5 Fahrenheit). That was more than 3 degrees Celsius above normal and beat the previous record of 19.6 Celsius set in February 1998.
Record-keeping began in 1909.
New Zealand has a relatively mild climate that is moderated by the surrounding ocean.