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

A new study has identified seven freshwater species native to Aotearoa-New Zealand that will likely be highly or very highly vulnerable to climate change.
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.
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.

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.
Our Future Climate New Zealand is an interactive website that lets you to look at projections for a number of climate variables for New Zealand between now and 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.
NIWA is using serious games to look at problems holistically, support understanding and give a framework for climate change adaptation decision-making.

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.”

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
This page provides definitions for words and terms used frequently in relation to climate change and global climate modelling
This list of resources will support your climate change adaptation planning.
Adapting to climate change is dynamic and uncertain. This step provides guidance on how you can keep your analysis, decisions and responses relevant and up-to-date in a continually changing environment.
This step will help you identify options for action, bearing in mind that often decisions have to be made with limited information.
In this step you will identify your climate change risks, compare them to other (non-climate) risks affecting you face and piroritise your responses.
This step helps you assess your resilience to current climate risk.
This step helps you understand risk, climate and adaptation, as well as reasons to adapt.
This Toolbox helps you find out about the changing climate, what it might mean for your business, organisation or community and what you can do about it.
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.

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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
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Coastal Adaptation Scientist
Regional Manager - Nelson
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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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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