Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Adapting to New Zealand’s changing climate

20 February 2017

Adapting to New Zealand’s changing climate

A Victoria University of Wellington and University of Otago project has been awarded almost $400,000 in funding to investigate the impact of climate change on New Zealand’s frozen water resources.

The two-year project, led by Victoria’s Associate Professor Andrew Mackintosh and Otago’s Associate Professor Nicolas Cullen, will provide improved future projections of glacier and snow melt from New Zealand’s alpine regions.

Associate Professor Mackintosh of Victoria’s Antarctic Research Centre and the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences says New Zealand is projected to warm by one to four degrees during the twenty first century.

“While we know this warming will lead to loss of frozen water resources, the magnitude, timing, and distribution of changes in meltwater are unclear.

“This research will address drought, shifts in climate distributions and extreme weather. Mountain rivers in both the North and South Islands feed our largest hydroelectric power schemes and provide critical water for irrigation, especially during droughts. Melting snow and ice may also cause increased flooding risk.”

The project team will work with local authorities and iwi to determine the specific needs of communities that utilise water flows.

“By developing and applying computer modelling tools to simulate snow and ice responses to climate change scenarios, we will make projections of future snow and ice cover, and the resultant runoff from alpine catchments,” says Associate Professor Cullen.

The project is one of five awarded funding last week by the Deep South National Science Challenge.

Victoria’s Dr Judy Lawrence from the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute is leading another project awarded funding. That research, which receives almost $350,000, will develop tools and supporting measures to assist decision-making in a changing climate.

Dr Lawrence will work alongside National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Landcare Research scientists, and with local governments making climate change adaptation decisions.

They will design sea-level rise, storm and flooding signals for triggering adaptive management decisions as part of monitoring adaptive pathways. In addition, socio-economic scenarios will be developed for testing decisions against long-term consequences, to enable decision-making under uncertain and changing conditions.

This most recent Deep South Challenge funding round is focused on the potential impacts and implications of climate change for New Zealand to support planning and decision-making around extreme weather events, drought, changes in typical weather patterns and sea-level rise.

Last week Victoria University hosted the International Symposium on The Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. During the five-day symposium top international scholars discussed a number of aspects of the cryosphere (frozen parts of the Earth), including glaciers and ice sheets, ice cores, sea ice, snow and sea-level change.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


University of Auckland: Pest-Free Goal Won’t Be Achieved Without New And Better Tools

New Zealand’s goal to become predator free by 2050 will remain an unrealised dream unless new technologies and advances in social engagement continue to be developed, researchers who first promoted it say. A team from the University of Auckland has ... More>>

OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>