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.”

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.

New Zealand climate change scenarios and impacts based on the 2007 IPCC 4th Assessment report.

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.
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.

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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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