Earth System Modelling and Prediction
Developing and utilising the New Zealand Earth System Model to produce improved projections of climate change.
The focus of this programme is to assemble the first New Zealand Earth System Model (NZESM), which will sit in the heart of the Deep South Challenge work.
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).
Addressing limitations of international models
Developing the NZESM will mean that we no longer need to base climate projections on overseas models. This is important because due to their focus on Northern Hemisphere climate, overseas models often poorly represent some processes in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The resulting biases can then have serious consequences for the quality of projections over Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Building on existing work and collaboration
The development of the New Zealand Earth System Model will not start from scratch. Existing models provide important building blocks that apply anywhere, and our modellers will be supported by strong collaborations with overseas partners.
One of few national Earth System Models in the world
Notably, this work will put Aotearoa-New Zealand in with the handful of other countries that run their own Earth System Models, and give us the resource and expertise to contribute to global climate modelling efforts.
Primary Contact and Science Lead
The following projects have been funded under the Earth System Modelling and Prediction programme:
Stratospheric chemistry in the NZESM, led by NIWA, Wellington (Contestable 2016)
Have a look at all Deep South Challenge Projects
Latest news and updates
On Monday 4 September, Minister for Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith will open the inaugural Deep South Challenge symposium at the Wharewaka (Wellington waterfront), about how New Zealand can and must change in line with our changing climate.
“We need to keep designing opportunities for iwi and hapū to see the potential of what adaptive change can look like.”—Dr Huhana Smith
In the second of the Deep South Challenge seminar series, Jonny will introduce us to climate and earth system modelling, show how the NZESM fits within the Deep South Challenge and discuss how the NZESM contributes to understanding our climate future.