The Pineapple Apocalypse

Daniel Hutchinson

From The Hutch

The rain has stopped, and the sun is out so it’s a good time to have a serious discussion about the future.

And I’m talking about climate change.

The best scientists in the land have declared that Napier’s recent flooding is a sign of climate change.

To me this is not a particularly bold statement. Quite obviously the climate changed. Last week it was sunny. This week it was raining. Now it’s sunny again.

That clearly represents a change in the climate.

What I am looking for is a more definitive answer as to what is going to happen to the weather, particularly this summer. We will delve a little deeper into our apocalyptic future in a moment.

Bold Predictions

The problem is, if you are looking for bold predictions from weather forecasters, then don’t. They don’t do them. For example, this is Niwa’s rainfall predictions for November-January 2021.

“Rainfall is most likely to be near normal in the north of the North Island and about equally likely to be near normal or below normal for all remaining regions.”

Ah, thanks. We live in a country where variable weather is normal so that tells me nothing.

What they can do is tell you what is happening now. I even have an app on my phone which tells me what the weather is at the present time.

I’m not sure there could be a more meaningless app but no different to those people who crowd around the TV at 6.50pm to find out how hot or cold it was.

You should know – you were there.

Early Warning Systems

However humans are quite cautious beasts by nature and by necessity. We like to know what might affect our safety and comfort and we have the technology to predict it in advance.

No longer do we have to sniff the breeze and watch the cloud formations. We can just look at the isobars and the rain radars and work out with some certainly what is going to happen, certainly in the next few hours and maybe even a few days into the future.

But some have gazed long into the future and, if you have the nerve to stare into the abyss, here’s the verdict.

The Apocalypse.

The Ministry for the Environment is predicting a rise in average temperature of up to 3.1 DegC in the Bay of Plenty by 2090, if the world keeps warming at the rate it is now. This is compared with 1995 which is the recognised baseline for such things.

Total annual rainfall will be normal compared with now, although it will be wetter in spring.

There is not expected to be a significant change in extreme rainfall events.

The sea level is expected to be about 11.9cm higher than it is now.

There will be more coastal erosion because of the higher sea level although it is unclear if there will be a marked increase in the number of storms and severe weather events.

The likelihood of drought ranges from a prediction of no change through to twice the likelihood. So water shortages could be an issue.

However, it looks like the Bay might have struck gold on the whole climate change front, if you don’t mind getting your socks wet now and again.

The Upside

The MFE says there could actually be some commercial opportunities in the Bay from climate change. Now that’s not a story you hear very often.

“Warmer temperatures, a longer growing season and fewer frosts could provide opportunities to grow new crops. Farmers might also benefit from faster growth of pasture and better crop-growing conditions. However, these benefits may be limited by negative effects of climate change such as prolonged drought and greater frequency and intensity of storms. Warmer winters could affect kiwifruit production, making some varieties uneconomic in warmer parts of the region.” – MBE

That all sounds a bit anti-climactic to me but I’m sure someone qualified can provide a more dramatic ending.

Our mo in The Sun

So, while I wait for an apocalypse complete with pineapples and fewer frosts, I will concentrate on growing my moustache.

Yes, it is Movember and it’s time for the unveiling of the Sun Mo Star team’s two-week-old moustaches.

Some of these moustaches do look a bit like beards, but don’t worry, they will be moustaches at the great finale.

In fact, John (The Wild Man) Borren is offering readers the chance to choose what style of moustache he should carve from his face full of fur.

To donate towards men’s health causes head to the official website

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