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.

“When it comes to climate change we are in the beautiful position of knowing what our choices are. We can feel a real sense of opportunity about the future - what role our science can play, and how people can contribute”

Dr Sam Dean, Principal Scientist, Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards

The latest climate change facts you need to know:

Latest news

Thermal images taken by a NIWA scientist during this year’s aerial survey of South Island glaciers have revealed in extraordinary detail how heat in the surrounding landscape is affecting the ice.
Scientists have taken a step closer to predicting marine heatwaves with new NIWA-led research finding a link between their formation and the length of time sea temperatures are warmer than normal.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
The latest state of the environment report released today provides New Zealanders with clear evidence that our climate, freshwater and marine systems are changing, says NIWA.

Our work

NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.
Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.
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.

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.

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 Blake Ambassadors vlog1

26 October 2018. NIWA Blake Ambassadors, Lana Young and Siobhan O'Connor and SalpPOOP voyage leader Dr Moira Decima check out sampled salps from different depths.

Scientists have taken a step closer to predicting marine heatwaves with new NIWA-led research finding a link between their formation and the length of time sea temperatures are warmer than normal.
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.”

Thermal images taken by a NIWA scientist during this year’s aerial survey of South Island glaciers have revealed in extraordinary detail how heat in the surrounding landscape is affecting the ice.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
The latest state of the environment report released today provides New Zealanders with clear evidence that our climate, freshwater and marine systems are changing, says NIWA.
Weather and climate experts from around the world are meeting in Wellington next week to discuss the critical need for accurate forecasting to cope with a changing climate.
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 has crunched the data on this week’s heatwave and come up with the following record breakers
The water in the New Zealand region is significantly warmer than it was 30 years ago, and all indications are the warming trend will continue, says a NIWA scientist.
A trio of lead authors from NIWA has been named alongside the Ministry for the Environment and others as joint winner of the 2018 Terry Healy Coastal Project Award.
NIWA Blake Ambassadors vlog1

26 October 2018. NIWA Blake Ambassadors, Lana Young and Siobhan O'Connor and SalpPOOP voyage leader Dr Moira Decima check out sampled salps from different depths.

Students at Leigh School have been working with marine scientists and the 'Year of the Salps' project partners to learn how to count sea salps, understand salp life cycle phases and the importance of salps in marine ecosystems and their carbon-cycling effects on climate change.
Inhabitants of the Marshall Islands may not be able to avoid drought, but thanks to a new tool co-developed by NIWA they can now plan ahead to better manage water resources when the big dry looms.
Coastal communities around New Zealand are getting a say on how to respond to sea-level rise, and NIWA is helping them.
What happens when the contribution from seasonal snow and ice melt changes in a warmer world?
Te Huringa ki te Rangi is a decision-making model to support indigenous and coastal communities who are grappling to understand and evaluate climate change impacts and risks, and how to integrate these into their development plans for the future.
A NIWA-led team has today been awarded a multi-million dollar research grant that will help drive major advances in understanding of New Zealand’s carbon emissions and uptake
A senior NIWA scientist is concerned many councils are having difficulty “getting off the starting blocks” when it comes to planning for coastal climate change.
Climate change scenarios through to 2110

Features temperature change, increase in hot days, decrease in frost, drought indicator, rainfall patterns through to 2110 under two ICPP scenarios.

Climate change touch screen - Fieldays
The touch screen in action at Fieldays.revealing how our climate will change across the country.

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Key contacts

Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry
Principal Scientist - Climate Applications
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Climate
Chief Scientist - Climate, Atmosphere and Hazards

All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes
Principal Scientist - Climate
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere
Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry
Principal Scientist - Climate 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
Atmospheric Scientist
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Environmental Economist
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