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.”

Novel handwriting recognition project casts new light on historic weather data.
The Our Future Climate New Zealand tool explores projected temperature and rainfall maps for New Zealand and charts for a selection of locations and times forward to 2100.
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.
Expect to hear a lot more about climate change in the news in the weeks ahead – and a lot about NIWA’s work underpinning the science that is signalling a warmer world right now and its effects in the future.
While we know that glaciers are sensitive to changes in their local climate, our understanding of exactly how mountain glaciers will respond to climate change is incomplete.
Adaptive Futures is a 'serious game' designed to introduce players to community-level decision-making and climate change adaptation.
Two reports released today by NIWA and the Deep South National Science Challenge reveal new information about how many New Zealanders, how many buildings and how much infrastructure could be affected by extreme river and coastal flooding from storms and sea-level rise.

CO2 levels measured at Baring Head

The graph shows carbon dioxide (CO2) levels measured at Baring Head, NIWA’s clean air station, near Wellington. This station has been running since 1972 and is home to the longest running continuous CO2 measurements in the Southern Hemisphere.

Understanding how the Antarctic oceans work is vital to predicting the world’s future climate and the implications of climate change for humankind and the planet.

The on-going rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is fuelling climate change is also driving significant changes in the waters off our coasts.

NIWA is bringing together decision makers and influencers from across New Zealand this month to shape the science we need to respond to our changing climate.
Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher is looking to turn the internationally accepted science of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions upside down—and the rest of the world is watching closely.
Thermal images taken by a NIWA scientist during this year’s aerial survey of South Island glaciers have revealed in extraordinary detail how heat in the surrounding landscape is affecting the ice.
Scientists have taken a step closer to predicting marine heatwaves with new NIWA-led research finding a link between their formation and the length of time sea temperatures are warmer than normal.^.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
The latest state of the environment report released today provides New Zealanders with clear evidence that our climate, freshwater and marine systems are changing, says NIWA.
CarbonWatchNZ will address crucial carbon cycle questions in the three landscapes that are most important to New Zealand’s carbon balance: forest, grassland and urban environments.
Weather and climate experts from around the world are meeting in Wellington next week to discuss the critical need for accurate forecasting to cope with a changing climate.
Ocean acidification - what is it?

The on-going rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only changing our climate—it is also changing our oceans. Take a look at the work of the NIWA-led CARIM project into what these changes may mean for the delicate balance of marine life.

NIWA has crunched the data on this week’s heatwave and come up with the following record breakers
The water in the New Zealand region is significantly warmer than it was 30 years ago, and all indications are the warming trend will continue, says a NIWA scientist.
A trio of lead authors from NIWA has been named alongside the Ministry for the Environment and others as joint winner of the 2018 Terry Healy Coastal Project Award.

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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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