Climate change

Climate change effects are accelerating, driving the need for actions informed by sound climate knowledge.

Climate change

NIWA is committed to providing the science needed to adapt to and mitigate climate change. By making informed choices now, we can reduce risks, maximise opportunities, foster climate resilience and work towards a carbon-neutral economy.

“The challenges of reducing our national greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate are hugely important and affect all New Zealanders. The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill provides the framework for responding to these challenges. NIWA’s role – providing research for evidence-based decision-making and science-based solutions to reduce emissions and adapt to our changing climate – is now more important than ever.”

Dr Andrew Tait, Chief Scientist, Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards

The latest climate change facts you need to know:

Latest news

Scientists analysing end-of-summer snowline survey photos have estimated that 13 million cubic meters of ice have been lost from just one glacier from 2016 to 2019.
This is one of the most extreme drought events for Auckland in modern times and similar to one experienced in 1993/94.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Young New Zealanders can now access the most up-to-date educational material about the science of climate change and its impacts on Aotearoa thanks to NIWA’s new web section: 'Climate change information for climate solvers'

Our work

Climate Present and Past is a core-funded project under NIWA's National Climate Centre. It aims to explore historical climate data and track past changes in climate through a range of approaches.
Regional-scale climate projections assist New Zealand’s local government authorities to adequately assess the local risks presented by climate change now and prepare their communities for the future impacts of climate change.
NIWA is developing a national river flow forecasting tool for New Zealand that aims to support and strengthen our planning for and response to extreme rainfall events.
RiskScape, a joint venture between NIWA and GNS Science, is a tool for analysing potential economic and social impacts from multiple natural hazards.

Latest videos

Glacier melt: A Time Capsule

Since 2016 enough ice has melted from the South Island’s Brewster Glacier to meet the drinking water needs of all New Zealanders for three years.

Our Climate is Changing

Our climate is changing - we need to act now.

Glaciers Don't Lie

If you think New Zealand's Southern Alps are shielded from climate change – take a look at this. "You can't make a glacier lie.”

Glacier melt: A Time Capsule

Since 2016 enough ice has melted from the South Island’s Brewster Glacier to meet the drinking water needs of all New Zealanders for three years.

Our Climate is Changing

Our climate is changing - we need to act now.

Glaciers Don't Lie

If you think New Zealand's Southern Alps are shielded from climate change – take a look at this. "You can't make a glacier lie.”

Scientists analysing end-of-summer snowline survey photos have estimated that 13 million cubic meters of ice have been lost from just one glacier from 2016 to 2019.

In 2019, the Ministry for the Environment commissioned Aotearoa New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA). The assessment has identified the most significant risks we face from climate change and will feed into the Government’s national adaptation plan.

NIWA contributed to this project as a partner alongside AECOM (project lead), Tonkin and Taylor, Latitude Strategy and Communication and others. 

This is one of the most extreme drought events for Auckland in modern times and similar to one experienced in 1993/94.
Analysis of drought conditions across New Zealand this year shows it is one of the most severe on record for some regions.
Young New Zealanders can now access the most up-to-date educational material about the science of climate change and its impacts on Aotearoa thanks to NIWA’s new web section: 'Climate change information for climate solvers'
Scientists have recorded more snow on the South Island glaciers this year, but they warn it is simply a temporary break rather than any good news on the climate change front.
Scientists know so little about how storms affect the delicate balance of lake ecosystems that we may be unable to protect them from the effects of climate change, says a NIWA scientist.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
NIWA researchers have helped unlock information trapped in ancient air samples from Greenland and Antarctica that shows the amount of methane humans are emitting into the atmosphere from fossil fuels has been vastly underestimated.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
Helping you understand the science of climate change. The things we can do to combat climate change, individually, and alongside our whānau, school and community, can and will make a difference.
2019: New Zealand’s 4th-warmest year on record
There are about 800km between the southern and northern tips of Tonga - and a lot of ocean.
In the past 10 years, more weather records have been broken than in any other time in New Zealand’s history.
New Zealand has just experienced its hottest November on record, according to NIWA climate scientists.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes
Principal Scientist - Climate
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere
Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry
Principal Scientist - Climate and Environmental Applications
Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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Marine Physics Modeller
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Climate Scientist
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Freshwater Fisheries Ecologist
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Physical Oceanographer
Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes
Chief Scientist - Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
Atmospheric Scientist
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Environmental Economist
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