National hydrological and water resource impacts of climate change
Project Duration: 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2019
Project Budget: $ 400,000
This century, climate change is projected to alter New Zealand’s hydrological cycle in complex ways, inducing shifts in snow, ice and soil water stores, as well as evaporative, river and groundwater flows. These impacts will have implications for a wide variety of freshwater uses and hazards central to the country’s environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being. In order to provide the foundation for comprehensive analyses of these impacts and implications, this project will carry out a national study of the potential effects of climate change on the entire hydrological cycle is needed. CMIP5-based climate change projections will be used to drive physically based hydrological modelling from 1971 to 2100. Hydrological states and fluxes will be analysed for changes in their temporal and spatial statistics and interpreted in the context of the changing climate, including the time of emergence of the climate change signal. The implications of these changes will be further assessed in terms of the major water resource issues of agricultural water resources, hydropower potential, and flooding. In order to provide the necessary tools for managing floods in the changing climate, a method for non-stationary flood frequency analysis will be developed for New Zealand.
Latest news and updates
One Deep South Challenge project, within the Vision Mātauranga programme, has been exploring adaptation strategies to address climate change impacts on coastal Māori communities.
A new paper published in the 2016 edition of Weather and Climate - the journal of the Meteorological Society of New Zealand - documents the purpose, challenges, next steps and future goals of the NZESM, the New Zealand Earth System Model.
Recently, Deep South Challenge modellers met with experts from meteorological and research agencies in the UK, Australia, Korea, Philippines, India, USA, South Africa and New Zealand at a NIWA-hosted technical workshop on global climate modelling.