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

One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 being transmitted in Aotearoa New Zealand classrooms is simply by opening doors and windows to create natural ventilation, say NIWA air quality experts.
New NIWA-led research shows increasing flood risk is going to be what leads people to make changes to adapt to sea-level rise.
Aotearoa New Zealand has just experienced its warmest winter on record – well exceeding the previous record which was set just last year.
Without the global CFC ban we’d already be facing the reality of a “scorched earth”, according to researchers measuring the impact of the Montreal Protocol.

Our work

Regional-scale climate projections assist local authorities to assess risks presented by climate change now and prepare their communities for the future impacts.
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.
Clouds over the ocean, and how they trap or emit radiation from the sun, are partly influenced by the biology, biogeochemistry and physics of the surface ocean below.
Flooding is one of the most costly natural hazards in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our regular flood clean-up bills are topped only by much less frequent earthquakes.

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.”

Ancient swamp kauri is being used by NIWA scientists to reveal the secrets of past climates.
Despite a sub-tropical storm and two ex-tropical cyclones, this summer is about to become the hottest in history.

John McGregor from NIWA checks on the instruments that measure atmospheric gases throughout our voyage.

Auckland region climate change projections and impacts | Auckland Council

Auckland Council and Council Controlled Organisations commissioned NIWA to provide climate change projections, including high-resolution maps for the Auckland Region.

A two-week expedition to tag blue whales in New Zealand waters for the first time, almost came up empty due to warmer sea temperatures causing the animals to change their behaviour.

Hazard risk is compounding in low-lying coastal areas of New Zealand, because hazard events are occurring more often (on the back of a rising sea), while at the same time coastal development and property/infrastructure values are increasing.

Rapid warming of the ocean near Tasmania may provide a good indication of how the water around New Zealand will change as the planet warms, say NIWA scientists.

New Zealand winters are a month shorter than they were 80 years ago, NIWA scientists say.

“This is a consequence of rising temperatures around the globe, and such trends in colder temperatures and frosts will influence the life cycle of plants and animals” - Dr Brett Mullan.

A dramatic change in sea ice this year is likely to hamper a NIWA-led research project aiming to better understand how ice shelves will melt as the ocean warms.
A decade of scientific research into how ocean acidification is affecting New Zealand waters has led to far greater understanding of the vulnerability of our marine ecosystems, according to a newly published review.
The Deep South National Science Challenge is one of New Zealand’s most audacious collaborative projects in recent times.
Pioneering NIWA scientists are returning to the cold continent in October, this time to focus on the seabed.
Tropical cyclones forming in the south-west Pacific are becoming less frequent but those that do form are likely to be more severe.
The construction of improved climate information and services in Vanuatu has posed unique logistical challenges.
The most commonly grown variety of kiwifruit around Te Puke will not be commercially viable in the area by the end of the century, say scientists.
Sitting at the surface of Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, are layers of ice more than 10,000 years old. And trapped inside those layers are bubbles of ancient air – like tiny time capsules - able to tell scientists a story about what the world used to be like and how humans have changed it.
Wellington city will have warmer autumns, almost a month of days over 25°C and up to 10 per cent more winter rain by 2090, according to a new NIWA climate report.
Regional-scale climate projections assist local authorities to assess risks presented by climate change now and prepare their communities for the future impacts.
Climate change and variability - report for the Greater Wellington Region

NIWA Climate Scientist - Petra Pearce explains Wellington city will have warmer autumns, almost a month of days over 25°C and up to 10 per cent more winter rain by 2090, according to a new NIWA climate report for the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

New research estimates that if climate change goes unchecked 60,000 more people will die globally from air pollution in 2030 – just 13 years away.
The latest atmospheric river over New Zealand delivered one town’s wettest day on record, and broke several other long-held rainfall statistics, according to NIWA data.
Edgecumbe Flood Damage

NIWA and GNS scientists recently visited Edgecumbe to assess flood damage in the area. In this video, local residents show the flood impacts on property, and hazards engineer Kate Crowley talks about flood scenario research.

The process of developing a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) for climate change was established under the 2010 Cancun Adaptation Framework. NAPs are forward-looking, holistic plans which are generally country-driven, given the local nature of adapting to climate change.

One of the major consequences of climate change is rising global sea levels.
Effects of climate change on fish are being studied at NIWA's Northland Marine Research Centre.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Climate
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere
Regional Manager - Nelson
Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry
Principal Scientist - Climate and Environmental Applications
Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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Surface Water - Groundwater Modeller
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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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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