Professor Blair Fitzharris has undertaken research on climate change in New Zealand, Canada, Norway, England, Switzerland and Australia and has written over 150 research publications on the subjects of climate, snow and glaciers. He is also a Consultant with 35 years experience on climate matters related to large scale resource development, mining, land use, energy (including hydro and wind power) and climate change. Blair has acted as a Consultant for many of New Zealand’s largest corporations.
Professor Fitzharris has played a senior role with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1992. IPCC and Al Gore were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
Blair has been a Convening Lead Author for four major Assessment Reports of IPCC. This work investigates climate change, its possible impact and how vulnerable we may be. His role with IPCC is summarized below:
• 1993-1996 Convening Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Second Assessment Report, Working Group II, (Ch 7, The Cryosphere)
• 1996-1998 Convening Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Regional Assessment Report, Working Group II (Chapter 3, Polar Regions)
• 1998-2001 Convening Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Third Assessment Report, Working Group II (Chapter 16, Polar Regions)
• 2003-2007 Convening Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group II (Chapter 11, Australia & New Zealand)
Professor Fitzharris was a Review Editor for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II (Chapter 25, Australasia). He was also involved with the UNEP Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, where he acted as Review Editor for the Chapter on "Mountains". He is a past member of Antarctica New Zealand’s Research Committee.
Professor Fitzharris is a past member of the Royal Society of NZ Standing Committee on Climate Change, a former President of the Meteorological Society of NZ and former Chair of the NZ Mountain Safety Council. In 1998 he was elected a Life Member of the Otago University Rugby Football Club.