Climate variability and change

We have prepared this information about climate variability and change from a New Zealand perspective as a public service.

Some of the pages have been written for members of the public interested in climate change issues, without assuming much technical knowledge. These include the pages on natural variations in the climate, past climate, the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas concentrations, and the first part of the El Niño page.

Other pages contain more technical detail. These aim to make research results from NIWA scientists and their overseas colleagues readily available to people who need information for developing strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions, or for adapting to variation and change in the climate.

Knowledge about the climate system is growing. We will update these pages to reflect new results from NIWA research, and important new findings from international science.

This material, unless otherwise stated, is based upon the IPCC 4th Assessment report (AR4). There is still much work to be done until AR5 is released in full, and there will be further work afterwards to incorporate this into New Zealand climate science. This material is still very relevant, and refinements will be added as soon as they can be produced. 

Climate station

Climate station. [Steve LeGal]