DSC Seminar #10 | Snow, ice and glaciers in our changing climate


New Zealand is projected to warm by 1-4°C during the 21st century. This warming will melt our frozen water resources – our snow and our glaciers. However, the scale and timing of this melt is not clear.

Mountain rivers in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand feed our largest hydro-electric power schemes, and provide critical water for irrigation, especially during drought. Melting snow and ice may also cause increased flooding. The aim of this research project, affectionately nicknamed "The Icey Project," is to make projections about how runoff from New Zealand’s glaciers and seasonal snow will change into the future. The research team is also engaging with iwi, industry representatives and local authorities to determine the specific needs of communities that use water. This data is crucial for decision makers in government, communities and industry.

This research project brings together, for the first time, New Zealand’s leading snow and glacier scientists. You can read about the project at our website or find a list of research team members here.

We also encourage you to read the latest NZ Geographic, which features The Icey Project in a new article by Kennedy Warne, The Final Meltdown.

About the presenters

Professor Andrew Mackintosh's research focuses on understanding how glaciers and ice sheets behave and interact with the global climate system. Andrew is the director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author.

Dr Jono Conway (Bodeker Scientific) is an associate investigator on the “Snow, Ice and Glaciers in our Changing Climate” project. An adjunct lecturer at the University of Otago, Jono also leads the Deep South Challenge modelling project, “Testing the NZESM through a single vertical column.”

Virtual hui:

To participate via ZOOM, please register here first (and download Zoom to your computer).

Physical hubs:

NIWA Wellington:
Conference Room

NIWA Christchurch:
Terra Nova Room

University of Victoria:
Room MYLT 101

University of Canterbury:
Kauri Room, Puaka James Hight Building

University of Otago:
Room 229 Science III Building

Please note, all visitors to NIWA must sign in on arrival.

We encourage you to set up your own hub and bring friends and colleagues together to participate in the seminar. Please let us know if you do set up your own hub.

Email: alex.keeble@niwa.co.nz