The Challenge

About the Challenge

Scientists, industry and communities must work together if society is to adapt to the changing climate.

Climate science can be complex and overwhelming, but it is the basis of understanding climate change and its impacts. Because of this, climate science is not always used effectively in planning and decision-making.

The Challenge objective

The Objective set by Cabinet for the Deep South Challenge is to understand the role of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment.

Building on this Objective, the Mission was developed to guide the vision and research priorities and activities of the Challenge.

The Challenge mission

The mission of the Challenge is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate.

Working with communities and industry we will bring together new research approaches to determine the impacts of a changing climate on our climate-sensitive economic sectors, infrastructure and natural resources to guide planning and policy.

This will be underpinned by improved knowledge and observations of climate processes in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica - our Deep South - and will include development of a world-class earth systems model to predict Aotearoa/New Zealand's climate.

Connecting society with science

The Challenge Mission will be achieved through a framework that connects society with scientists through five inter-linked programmes. These programmes will combine community engagement with an innovative climate prediction system - the Earth System Model - all of which will be strengthened by new observations and enhanced knowledge of processes in the Deep South region.

This diagram shows the structure through which the five programmes will work together. The three core inter-connected research Programmes will be guided by and incorporate the research and related activities from within the Vision Mātauranga and Engagement Programmes. Click on the image to expand it.

Infographic - the Deep South National Science Challenge explained. Click on the image to expand it.

Latest news and updates

ocean wave

DSC Seminar #7 | Global ocean modelling in the Deep South Challenge

Wednesday 30 May, 12.30–1.30pm
With Erik Behrens (NIWA)

The oceans are the largest ecosystem on our planet, with complex physical and bio-geochemical interaction between the atmosphere, sea ice and ice shelves. Oceans are the main storage for human-produced heat and carbon. At the same, oceans have the ability to redistribute heat and carbon both across large distances and over time, which makes them the key component in the climate system. 

Whanau feed earthquake victims at Takahanga Marae

Coping in the face of climate change: Research announced to better support our communities

A new report released by the the Deep South National Science Challenge, Communities and climate change: Vulnerability to rising seas and more frequent flooding, highlights key gaps in our collective understanding about how climate change will impact Aotearoa New Zealand’s diverse communities.

Road closed at Ngaio Gorge

Climate Adaptation Ambassadors' Workshop: Steering research through to policy and action

This workshop aims to support and develop a community of “climate ambassadors,” who can champion an informed and proactive climate adaptation agenda in research, policy, the public and private sectors and within local communities.