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Climate change implications for New Zealand

2016: New Zealand is being affected by climate change and impacts are set to increase in magnitude and extent over time.

Floods, storms, droughts and fires will become more frequent unless significant action is taken to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, which are changing the climate.

Even small changes in average climate conditions are likely to lead to large changes in the frequency of occurrence of extreme events. Our societies are not designed to cope with such rapid changes.

This report describes in general terms the changes in climate that are expected globally and nationally during the 21st century, before focusing on six key areas of risk for New Zealand:

  • coastal margins
  • flooding from rivers
  • availability of and competition for freshwater
  • changes to our surrounding oceans
  • threats to unique ecosystems
  • flow‑on effects from climate change impacts and responses overseas.

Climate Change Implications for New Zealand report sections:

Understanding Risk

Global climate change

NZ climate change

Key risks for New Zealand


Coasts 768x671


Flooding 768x685


Freshwater 768x671


Ocean 768x671


Ecosystems 768x684


International 768x671

 Background to report and panel members

Blog: Infrequently Asked Questions

Read IAQS blog on the watery effects of climate change for New Zealand with Professor James RenwickFloods for you; sea level rise for me 

Blog: Infrequently Asked Questions

Read IAQs blog on why our ability to care for the environment depends, in part, on our ability to navigate risk with Landcare Researcher's Dr Alison GreenawayClimate: considering future risk.