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National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, is a Crown Research Institute established in 1992. It operates as a stand-alone company with its own Board of Directors and Executive.

NIWA’S purpose is to enhance the economic value and sustainable management of New Zealand’s aquatic resources and environments, to provide understanding of climate and the atmosphere and increase resilience to weather and climate hazards to improve safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

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Shutterstock/Adel Newman

The ocean is our greatest climate regulator. It must be a stronger part of climate policy and action

The ocean has been buffering us from the impacts of climate change, but it is reaching the limit of this capacity. Integrating ocean and climate policy will be crucial.
Shutterstock/Tracey McNamara

Why we should release New Zealand’s strangled rivers to lessen the impact of future floods

Given climate change predictions of more extreme floods in New Zealand, it’s time to change management practices to work with a river, allowing it room to move and its channels to adjust.
Une zone océanique tumultueuse où les vagues peuvent atteindre 20 mètres et plus… Shutterstock

L’océan Austral : une richesse écologique hors du commun et un rôle clé pour le climat

L’océan Austral constitue le principal réservoir de chaleur et de carbone de notre planète. Il abrite des formes de vie extraordinaires, des invertébrés microscopiques aux gigantesques baleines.
Shutterstock / CherylRamalho

Un océano singular: la riqueza ecológica del Antártico y su importancia para el clima global

El Océano Austral (Antártico) es el principal almacén de calor y carbono de nuestro planeta, y es hogar de extraordinarias formas de vida, desde pequeñas algas y criaturas sin espinas hasta pingüinos, focas y ballenas.
Photobank.kiev.ua/Shutterstock

Storm warning: a new long-range tropical cyclone outlook is set to reduce disaster risk for Pacific Island communities

Tropical cyclones account for almost four in five natural disasters across Pacific Island nations. But a new forecasting tool now gives up to four months warning for the upcoming cyclone season.
Andrew Lorrey

Why long-term environmental observations are crucial for New Zealand’s water security challenges

Auckland’s extreme drought and the rapid retreat of glaciers in the Southern Alps both highlight how important long-term observations are for water management policy and planning.
This summer, coastal seas to the north and east of New Zealand are even warmer than during last year’s marine heat wave. from www.shutterstock.com

Coastal seas around New Zealand are heading into a marine heatwave, again

Marine heatwaves may become the new normal for the Tasman Sea and the ocean around New Zealand, and oceanographers are developing models to better predict their intensity.
Small aircraft carry scientists high above the Southern Alps to survey glacier changes. Hamish McCormick/NIWA

A bird’s eye view of New Zealand’s changing glaciers

Forty years of continuous end-of-summer snowline monitoring of New Zealand’s glaciers brings the issue of human-induced climate change into tight focus.
The analysis of large amounts of ice from Antarctica’s Taylor Valley has helped scientists to tease apart the natural and human-made sources of the potent greenhouse gas methane. Hinrich Schaefer

Antarctic ice reveals that fossil fuel extraction leaks more methane than thought

Analysis of 12,000-year-old Antarctic ice reveals that methane leaks from fossil fuel extraction play a larger role than previously thought.
The authors have collaborated on an Antarctic research project, investigating tiny ice crystals and their role in climate. Gabby O'Connor's Studio Antarctica/Johanna Mechem

When artists get involved in research, science benefits

When artists and scientists get together, they fuel each other's creativity and inquiry.
A boy plays cricket among smoke in Karachi. Deaths from air pollution across the globe will increase as climate change accelerates. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Climate change set to increase air pollution deaths by hundreds of thousands by 2100

A new study suggests climate change will cause changes to patterns of ground-level ozone and smog – two deadly pollutants set to increase deaths by about 260,000 worldwide by the end of the century.
Tasman Lake, which is fed by melt water from the retreating Tasman Glacier, photographed in March this year. Trevor Chinn

New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice

A third of the permanent snow and ice of New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to our new research based on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research aerial surveys. Since…
Reduced ozone means increased UV radiation, and that leads to skin cancer. Tracey Lawson

Saving the ozone layer saved human lives

SAVING THE OZONE: Part seven in our series exploring on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer – dubbed “the world’s most successful environmental agreement” – explains how the…

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