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

New Zealand has just experienced its hottest November on record, according to NIWA climate scientists.
Novel handwriting recognition project casts new light on historic weather data.
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.
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.

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.
Last updated: 
26 November 2019
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.
RiskScape, a joint venture between NIWA and GNS Science, is a tool for analysing potential economic and social impacts from multiple natural hazards.
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.

Latest videos

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.”

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.
NIWA Blake Ambassadors vlog1

26 October 2018. NIWA Blake Ambassadors, Lana Young and Siobhan O'Connor and SalpPOOP voyage leader Dr Moira Decima check out sampled salps from different depths.

Students at Leigh School have been working with marine scientists and the 'Year of the Salps' project partners to learn how to count sea salps, understand salp life cycle phases and the importance of salps in marine ecosystems and their carbon-cycling effects on climate change.
Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands may not be able to avoid drought, but thanks to a new tool co-developed by NIWA they can now plan ahead to better manage water resources when the big dry looms.
Coastal communities around New Zealand are getting a say on how to respond to sea-level rise, and NIWA is helping them.
What happens when the contribution from seasonal snow and ice melt changes in a warmer world?
Te Huringa ki te Rangi is a decision-making model to support indigenous and coastal communities who are grappling to understand and evaluate climate change impacts and risks, and how to integrate these into their development plans for the future.
A NIWA-led team has today been awarded a multi-million dollar research grant that will help drive major advances in understanding of New Zealand’s carbon emissions and uptake
A senior NIWA scientist is concerned many councils are having difficulty “getting off the starting blocks” when it comes to planning for coastal climate change.
Climate change scenarios through to 2110

Features temperature change, increase in hot days, decrease in frost, drought indicator, rainfall patterns through to 2110 under two ICPP scenarios.

Climate change touch screen - Fieldays
The touch screen in action at Fieldays.revealing how our climate will change across the country.
One of the world's leading scientific publishers has named a paper cowritten by a NIWA scientist as one of 250 groundbreaking findings that could "help change the world".
Spare a thought for Fieldays exhibitors putting the final touches to their stands tomorrow – it’s going to be wet.
NIWA is encouraging farmers to plan for climate change so they can maximise their abilities to adapt and thrive as significant change begins to take place.
NIWA science is driving progress on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Our scientists provide the knowledge key for evidence-based decision-making and for our society as a whole.
Massive increases in computing power are allowing NIWA scientists to not only analyse more data, faster, but also to envisage completely new experiments.
New Zealand’s glaciers have all retreated and lost volume since NIWA started surveying them in 1977.
NIWA has joined forces with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology to issue a joint Special Climate Statement about unusual weather patterns over summer.
Climate scientists and glaciologists are taking to the skies this week to find out how New Zealand’s glaciers are faring following this summer’s record-breaking warmth.

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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
Principal Scientist - Climate
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Marine Physics Modeller
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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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