Climate change science

Scientists have become increasingly concerned since the 1970s that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human activities are raising temperatures and destabilising the Earth’s climate systems.

Climate change: why we must do something

Reports

These domestic and international reports detail observed changes in our climate.

What’s happened already

  • Increased temperatures (about 0.7 deg C globally and 0.9 deg C in NZ over past 100 years)
  • Reduced frost frequency over most of the country
  • Retreat of many South Island glaciers and snowlines
  • Reduced alpine snow mass
  • Sea-level rise (estimated 17 cm over last century)
  • Timeline of climate change scientific discoveries