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.”

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. 

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.

Meteorological forecasting centres across the Pacific are predicting near average or slightly above average numbers of tropical cyclones for the 2012–13 season (November 2012 to April 2013). On average[1], 10 named tropical cyclones occur in the southwest Pacific (between 135°E and 120°W) each season (November to April). The outlook indicates that 9 to 12 named cyclones are expected for the 2012 – 2013 season. Tropical cyclone activity east of the International Dateline is expected to be normal, with above normal activity for Niue and Tonga during the second half of the season.

Scientists have discovered an abrupt increase in the uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the land biosphere since1988. Without this natural increase in uptake, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would probably have increased even more rapidly over the last two decades.

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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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