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

Understanding how the Antarctic oceans work is vital to predicting the world’s future climate and the implications of climate change for humankind and the planet.

The on-going rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is fuelling climate change is also driving significant changes in the waters off our coasts.

NIWA is bringing together decision makers and influencers from across New Zealand this month to shape the science we need to respond to our changing climate.
Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher is looking to turn the internationally accepted science of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions upside down – and the rest of the world is watching closely.

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.

Climate Change and Deepsea Life

Dr Dave Bowden outlines concerns over the impacts of climate change on deepsea life in Antarctic waters.

Phytoplankton and Climate Change

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Philip Boyd explains how the Southern Ocean plays a key role in controlling the world's climate, by drawing large amounts of CO2 from Earth's atmosphere into the ocean depths.

Is ocean iron addition part of the solution to climate change? Cliff Law, NIWA explains: 

A decision framework has been developed that provides for a balanced and justifiable prioritisation of sustainable adaptations to climate change and which is flexible to change.
A range of links, contacts and supplementary material.

This toolbox is a resource to help planners, engineers, asset managers, and hazard analysts in New Zealand urban councils understand and evaluate the potential impacts of climate change in their city.

Welcome to NIWA's third Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

NIWA Oceanographer Dr Craig Stevens has returned, with stunning images and data, from a successful month-long research trip in Antarctica, where he led a team of international and New Zealand scientists.

NIWA’s weather prediction model simulated the intense rainfall which fell just north of the capital, and flooded parts of Porirua, on Sunday 27 March. Thirty nine millimetres of rain fell in less than an hour, around 1.00pm.

More than 30 international experts in climate science will meet in Queenstown this week to discuss implementing a new a state-of-the-art global network to improve the quality of measurements of upper air climate variables.

Over the past decade, predicting the weather, and understanding the changes in climate, has emerged as one of the most important and topical areas of scientific endeavour.

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

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Key contacts

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

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 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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Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Environmental Economist
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