World class research contributing to our understanding of greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, and urban air pollution.

  • Air Grid: using grid monitoring to map air quality

    Research Project
    Air quality is almost never consistent across NZ’s towns – polluted air can readily be transported on the breeze and accumulate in different locations.
  • Ancient kauri trees reveal a turning point in Earth’s history 42,000 years ago

    Media release
    A new international study using ancient swamp kauri from Northland shows a temporary breakdown of Earth’s magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts leading to global environmental change and mass extinctions.
  • Fiordland air sharing secrets with scientist

    Media release
    Peter Sperlich needs a strong south-westerly and a cast iron stomach for his next scientific mission.
  • Subterranean sensing

    Media release
    Once a year, technicians from NIWA’s North Island Field Team don helmets and head lamps to check a network of CO2 sensors in the world-renowned Waitomo Caves. The sensors help make sure that heavy breathing visitors aren’t wrecking the caves’ precious natural structures and microclimate.
  • Locked down, but breathing freely

    Feature story
    Some of the most striking images of lockdown around the world have been the blue skies of cities ordinarily choking in smog. From New Delhi to Los Angeles, Beijing to Paris, the changes were so remarkable they were visible from space.
  • Fresh scientific scrutiny for Arrowtown air

    Media release
    NIWA scientists have set up air quality sensors every 100 metres across Arrowtown in what is believed to be the world’s densest air monitoring network.
  • Air quality issues in New Zealand towns: outdoor air quality animations

    Research Project
    Animations showing wind conditions and air quality over 24-hour periods across study towns during winter 2021 and 2020.
  • Seven weeks of clearing the air provides huge benefits

    Media release
    Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley.
  • Scientists seek smoke sniffers

    Media release
    NIWA scientists are seeking help to sniff out smoke in a bid to help improve air quality in New Zealand.
  • Pollution levels soar in Level 3, says NIWA

    Media release
    Traffic pollution measurements in Auckland since Level 4 restrictions were eased on Tuesday have shown levels soaring even higher than those before lockdown, NIWA air quality scientists say.
  • Bushfire smoke continues trip around world

    Media release
    A blob of smoke from the Australian bushfires is continuing to circle the globe almost four months after it formed.
  • Lockdown air quality keeps getting better

    Media release
    Pollution levels in our main cities are continuing to fall as a result of the nationwide lockdown, says NIWA.