Impacts and Implications
Understanding the potential impacts and implications of climate change for New Zealand to support planning and decision-making, and aid adaptation efforts.
Understanding how climate change will impact New Zealand allows us to plan for it effectively. To achieve this, we need to bring together different types of information and take a ‘big picture’ view of climate change and its impacts.
The programme has identified four areas of particular interest to New Zealanders. These are:
- Extreme weather events
- Changes in typical weather patterns
- Sea level rise.
The programme will be delivered alongside the Engagement and Vision Mātauranga programmes that will connect the science to the experiences, needs, and decision-making processes of various sectors of New Zealand society.
The Impacts & Implications Programme will be implemented via four research streams.
This stream aims to improve New Zealanders’ ability to consider and evaluate key impacts of climate change, including strengthening links and interactions with the emerging New Zealand Earth System Model.
Tailored Implications will assist end-users, stakeholders, and communities build capacity to robustly consider climate change in various decision-making contexts and processes.
Engagement Adaptive Capacity
This work stream will support the Engagement Programme by connecting with Impacts & Implications research and researchers.
Vision Mātauranga Adaptive Capacity
This will support the Vision Mātauranga Programme by increasing iwi/hapu access to, and collaborations with, Impacts & Implications research and researchers.
The Impacts and Implications programme consists of three inter-related research themes, which are discussed below.
Integrated assessment and impacts
Climate change has impacts across a range of areas. These include:
- Physical impacts, such as sea-level rise and changing temperatures
- Social and socioeconomic impacts, such as how the physical changes will impact different groups within New Zealand society
- Environmental impacts, including how climate change will impact New Zealand’s natural environment.
In order to really effectively model and understand the impacts of climate change this theme will bring together the different impacts and explore how these interact with each other.
Implications and adaptations
The purpose of the Deep South Science Challenge is to produce knowledge that New Zealand communities including Māori, industry, and government groups can use to plan for, and adapt to climate change.
In order to do this it is necessary to involve these groups, and to learn what issues relating to the impacts of climate change are important to them.
It also requires research into the institutions that facilitate climate change adaptation. That research will analyse both historical responses to environmental threats and the frameworks in which climate change-sensitive decisions are currently made.
Building on existing work
This Impacts and Implications programme will build on an existing four-year project: Climate Changes Impacts and Implications for New Zealand. This project, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, provides a starting point for this programme.
The Climate Change Impacts and Implications project has been undertaking combined modelling of the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems and a series of case studies have been produced.
- The impact of climate change on New Zealand’s frozen water resources (Core 2017)
- National hydrological and water resource impacts of climate change (Core 2017)
- Incorporating climate change impacts in land-use suitability (Core 2017)
- Robust adaptation decision-making under uncertainty in the water sector (Core 2017)
- Supporting decision making through adaptive tools in a changing climate (Core 2017)
- Climate change and the Earthquake Commission (Core 2017)
- Cascading impacts and implications for Aotearoa New Zealand (Contestable 2016)
Please have a look at a complete list of Deep South Challenge Projects
Science lead: Suzi Kerr, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Programme contact: Wilbur Townsend, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Latest news and updates
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The Insurance, housing and climate adaptation report, commissioned by the Deep South National Science Challenge, highlights key research questions to help prepare coastal communities for climate change.
With the recent storms and floods ransacking parts of New Zealand, Professor David Frame put pen to paper to discuss floods, attribution and the power of citizen science to help us understand our climate and be more prepared.