research project

Modelling future extreme weather

Extreme weather is the sharp end of climate change. Aotearoa New Zealand is highly vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather like flooding from heavy rainfall. Homeowners, the government and insurers are just some of those eager to know what the future holds in store. New Zealanders need information on climate change at scales they... Read more »...

research project

Marine heatwaves & oceanic changes

New Zealand is surrounded by ocean, and both our climate and our climate extremes (such as droughts, heatwaves, floods and tropical storms) are highly impacted by ocean temperatures. The ocean is also changing rapidly – it’s absorbing more heat, ocean currents are shifting, and we’re experiencing longer and more intense marine heatwaves. The more we... Read more »...

research project

Modelling climate change in the southern hemisphere

A project which sits at the heart of the Deep South Challenge is the development of the NZ Earth System Model (NZESM). An Earth System Model models our oceans, sea ice, land and atmosphere to understand how our climate will change under anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.  Fundamentally, the questions we are answering revolve around better... Read more »...

research project

Modelling Antarctic Sea Ice

Sea ice is a critical part of our climate system, reflecting solar energy back into our atmosphere, and is instrumental in the generation of storms that alter our weather. Sea ice in turn is influenced by fresh water melt from ice shelves, which both is poorly understood and poorly represented in global climate models. Using... Read more »...

research project

Modelling clouds, aerosols and atmospheric chemistry

Have you ever looked at the ocean and noticed that the sky above it appeared hazy? This is caused by the presence of tiny particles or droplets in the air. In remote, unpolluted regions such as the Southern Ocean, such “aerosols” form from natural sources, such as ocean waves breaking and releasing sea salt into... Read more »...

research project

Very high-resolution climate modelling for rain and wind

Heavy rainfall and extreme winds are increasingly impacting communities in New Zealand, and as they occur on such local scales, traditional atmospheric models struggle to represent these weather processes. New Zealand weather systems are strongly influenced by the Southern Alps, where coarse model resolution can result in rainfall being simulated in the wrong river catchments.... Read more »...

research project

Upper ocean observations during storms

Observing upper ocean variability during storms: connecting event scales to climate responses. The warming of the ocean has a direct impact on the intensity of tropical cyclones. Climate predictions have indicated cyclones will be stronger and wetter as the world continues to warm up. These large-scale weather events can cost up to $40m. Traditional vessel-based... Read more »...

research project

Marine heatwaves and the link with climate extremes

Ocean heat content changes around New Zealand: a link to climate extremes In recent summers, New Zealanders have experienced a series of marine heat waves. Temperatures in some regions have exceeded 6°C above average. While some of us enjoy the warmer water temperatures for water sports and holiday activities, most marine organisms experience heat stress,... Read more »...

research project

4D drones to measure Antarctic clouds, snow & ice

Versatile 4D drones for observations of key deep south earth system processes We have large gaps in our observational data about sea ice, clouds and snow in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, which effects the quality of our climate models. The challenging polar environment restricts our ability to gather data effectively, particularly about the thickness... Read more »...

research project

Antarctic sea ice

Targeted observation and process-informed modelling of Antarctic sea ice (TOPOMASI) Antarctic sea ice plays a major role in the global climate system. Its presence maintains cold conditions that help sustain Antarctica’s ice sheets, and it affects the rate of global warming by changing heat uptake in the Southern Ocean. Antarctic sea ice has a significant... Read more »...