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.

The effects of climate change on fish are being studied in a world-first trial at NIWA’s Bream Bay marine science centre.
New Zealand’s forests and other land areas may be absorbing up to 60% more carbon dioxide than has been calculated, with much of this uptake likely occurring in native forests, NIWA scientists have discovered.
The Kiwi dream of owning a beachfront property with panoramic views of the ocean is under threat—and not just for financial reasons.
Top of Natalie Robinson’s to-do list right now is to work out exactly what she’s brought back from Antarctica.
New research tests the air to estimate the carbon sink potential of forests and landscapes. It reveals that the ability of New Zealand’s land biosphere to absorb carbon could be 50 per cent more than currently estimated.
The Deep South National Science Challenge today announced new funding for seven new scientific research projects to help New Zealanders better understand their future climate.
Adapting to climate change in Samoa

Muliagatele Filomena Nelson from Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources  and Environment discusses integrating traditional knowledge when  adapting to climate change in Samoa.

The world’s oceans are acidifying as a result of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by humanity.
David Wratt - How is sea level rise likely to affect us in the next 100 years?

Annie Hale, from Colorado College, USA, talks to Dr David Wratt, one of New Zealand's leading climate scientists on climate change.

David Wratt - What changes in weather can we expect from climate change?

Annie Hale, from Colorado College, USA, talks to Dr David Wratt, one of New Zealand's leading climate scientists on climate change.

NIWA scientists are to undertake a major research project to determine how New Zealand’s marine ecosystems are faring under climate change.
The World Meteorological Organisation Congress has confirmed NIWA's Lauder atmospheric research station as one of Earth's leading providers of upper-air data critical for measuring climate change.
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.
Now back on dry land, Voyage Leader Richard O'Driscoll reflects on the final days of RV Tangaroa's 2015 Antarctica expedition.
In a small green laboratory perched on the rocky volcanic southern peninsula of Ross Island, Antarctica, there’s a space waiting for a new shiny, hi-tech Christmas present.

This is one of the key conclusions announced today by Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in the summary of its contribution to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment. 

The Hydrological Society & The Meteorological Society of NZ joint conference

19 November 2013 to 22 November 2013

NIWA is sponsoring The Hydrological Society & The Meteorological Society of NZ joint conference

The theme of this year’s conference is Water and Weather: Solutions for health, wealth and environment.

The conference is being held in Palmerston North, and will attract scientists, technicians, consultants, hydrologists, climatologists, students, resource managers and many others. 

RiskScape, a joint venture between NIWA and GNS Science, is a tool for analysing potential economic and social impacts from multiple natural hazards.

The New Zealand Climate Change Conference 2013

4 June 2013 to 5 June 2013

The New Zealand Climate Change Centre (NZCCC) is holding the New Zealand Climate Change Conference 2013 in Palmerston North on the 4th and 5th of June.

This conference brings together researchers from across New Zealand, showcasing the latest climate change research thinking and outputs. Including pysical science, adaption, mitigation and cross-cutting issues.

For more infomation see the NZCCC website

The measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reaches a milestone this week. NIWA's globally significant Baring Head Clean Air Observation Programme is celebrating 40 years of continuous monitoring.

A range of trace gases are measured continuously at Baring Head, New Zealand. Observations at this station were started in the early 1970s and continue to the present.

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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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