Our mission is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk and thrive in a changing climate. We're achieving this by connecting science with society, through five interlinked programmes.
Ko ngā mahi inaianei hei oranga mo rātou apopo | For those who will benefit from our efforts today
Vision Mātauranga projects are investigating climate change impacts and opportunities for iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori business. Together they represent the largest ever Māori-led research effort into the implications of changing climate conditions for Māori society.
Impacts & Implications
This programme aims to make sure that New Zealanders can properly consider and evaluate key impacts of climate change. We’re also making sure that communities, end-users and stakeholders consider climate change in multiple contexts and make robust decisions about adaptation. This involves taking a ‘big picture’ view. We need to explore how the many and varied impacts of climate change will interact with each other.
Processes & Observations
Antarctica, the Southern Ocean and the atmosphere above have a significant influence on the climate in the Southern Hemisphere. Yet gaps in our understanding about Southern Ocean and Antarctic processes limit the reliability of global climate prediction.
The Earth’s climate is so complex that individual components of the climate system, and their interactions, need to be well understood if future predictions are to be reliable. The projects in this programme focus on improving our knowledge about poorly understood aspects of the ocean, sea ice, and atmosphere in the deep south. The projects improve our ability to produce more accurate climate models and projections for New Zealand.
Earth System Modelling & Prediction
This programme has established and continues to develop the first New Zealand Earth System Model (NZESM). An Earth System Model combines the physical processes of atmospheric and oceanic circulation with the chemical and biological processes that impact the earth system. Earth system models inform international assessments of climate, such as the assessment reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Engagement in the Deep South Challenge is innovative and ambitious: where traditional science communication uses one-way “push” tools, we explicitly identify and respond to the needs and priorities of our research users. We work with communities, Māori, industry sectors and local and central government. We feed this information back into the scientific process, to ensure our research is relevant and useful – and actually helps New Zealanders to adapt to a changing climate.