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 today released a report reviewing its seven station temperature series, which adds to its analysis of New Zealand’s temperature trends over the past 100 years.

New climate modelling shows seasonal snow levels at New Zealand ski areas will be reduced by the effects of climate change in the coming years, but the good news is the loss may actually be less than originally anticipated and we should be able to continue to make snow, even under a more extreme climate scenario.

Stormwater 2011

3 May 2011 to 6 May 2011

The Stormwater Special Interest Group of Water NZ is holding the 7th South Pacific Stormwater Conference on the 3rd-6th May at the Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland, NZ.
The aim of the 2011 conference is to provide delegates with an opportunity to:

* Upskill in various areas of stormwater science and management
* Network with peers
* Hear new and cutting edge stormwater information

Suggested themes for sessions at the 2011 conference include:

* Low impact design and development
* Success in Stormwater management
* Climate change
* Stormwater and Public Health
* Catchment management

NIWA's work on long-term temperature trends has been subject to various review processes.

Temperature measurements for the Nile St Vicarage in Nelson have now been digitised. These records were used in the NIWA seven-station temperature series

Hokitika temperature data used in the NIWA seven-station temperature series have now been split into two stations

Temperature data for December 1927 at Kelburn (agent number 3385) have been added to the NIWA Climate Database. Kelburn is one of the sites used to create the 'Wellington' record for the NIWA seven-station temperature series.

This note outlines a correction made the NIWA seven-station temperature series relating to an incorrect value of monthly mean temperature for Waingawa for April 1910

This page lists any technical changes relating to data in the seven-station temperature series, and provides links for more detail.

In-filling of missing data for ‘Masterton’ in 2016 (implemented June 2016)

Reason:

Missing data at Martinborough in April and May 2016

Effect of change on 100-year warming trend:                                                                         

Minimal

Effect of change on the year 2016 setting a new record for warmest year:

Small, and not sufficient to deny 2016 as the 7-station annual temperature record

Full details

Revised 1945 Hokitika adjustment (implemented February 2016)

Reason:

Further analysis of the Hokitika adjustments suggested that the smaller of the two options in the NIWA 2010 Review was more appropriate.

Effect of change on 100-year warming trend:

The revised 1945 adjustment reduces the warming trend at Hokitika by 0.22°C/century, and therefore the overall 7-station warming trend by about 0.03°C/century.

Full details

Scientific references about the 'seven-station' temperature series adjustment process, and the internationally accepted best practice approaches to adjusting raw climate data to more accurately calculate temperature trends.

NIWA's 'seven-station' series has been re-analysed, and independently peer-reviewed, and the result confirms a NZ-wide warming trend. Here we provide links to extensive documentation for each of the 'seven stations'.

NIWA has posted its NZ ‘seven-station’ temperature series data for download here. The best-fit linear trend over the past 100 years (1909 to 2008) shows NZ’s average annual temperature has increased by 0.9°C. A schedule of adjustments required to create this series is also available from this page.

This is a record of changes made to the section of NIWA's website relating to our analysis of New Zealand temperature trends.

The spreadsheet, graph and trend for the 'seven-station' series temperature data is updated each year. All raw data can be downloaded from NIWA's climate database, CliFlo:

CLiFlo

The return of the upgraded RV Tangaroa represents a huge advancement for New Zealand science and exploration

NIWA today welcomed home RV Tangaroa, New Zealand’s only deepwater research vessel, after a $20 million dollar upgrade to enhance its ocean science and survey capabilities.

NIWA’s coastal scientists met with members of the Whitianga community last week, and thanked them for their input into a NIWA research project, Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change.

Current Climate - August 2010

August 2010 mean temperatures were above average (between 0.5°C and 1.2°C above average) across all regions of New Zealand, except for eastern Otago, where temperatures were near average (within 0.5°C of average). Small areas of well above average temperatures (more than 1.2°C above average) were observed in Northland, eastern Bay of Plenty, Nelson and Fiordland. The New Zealand national average temperature was 9.6°C (0.9°C above the 1971-2000 August average).

What happened in August, how our climate outlook for the previous three months turned out, global and local sea temperatures, and our outlook for September to November

The latest version (V3) of NIWA’s High Intensity Rainfall Design System (HIRDS) is a web-based system that lets engineers find out how much rain they should design for at any location in New Zealand. It will tell them the probability of a really big downpour, and how big that downpour might be.

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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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