Climate research projects

Find out more about some of our climate-related 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.
Maps of average annual rainfall, temperature and other climate variables have been produced for all of New Zealand, based on the period 1981–2010.

NIWA is developing guidelines and advice to help coastal communities adapt to climate change.

This project demonstrates how to assess high value alternative land-use options by means of a quantitative analysis of the growing potential of selected niche crops and tree species.
NIWA has recently created synthetic, multi-year, 10-minute wind datasets at 15 wind farm sites across New Zealand. These will be used by the Electricity Commission to model the impact of wind farms on the national grid.
This project demonstrates how to use the latest global climate forecasts to predict changes in river flows in New Zealand, including changes in size or frequency of future floods.
This project examines how best to manage and plan for climate-related opportunities and risks in the electricity system.

By analysing air trapped in ancient ice we can see how wetlands and permafrosts responded to warming periods in the past, and help predict what will happen in the future.

Developing probabilistic scenarios of expected future regional climate changes.
These studies extended NIWA's regional climate modelling work, addressing future changes in drought risk and extreme winds under a warming climate.
Developing a science-based approach for Central and Local Government to identify opportunities for reducing the impacts of climate change on the urban environment.
Increasing our scientific understanding of the climate system, our ability to predict the climate, and decision-making tools to help New Zealand to adapt to climate variability and change.