Climate change

What is climate change?

Greenhouse gases in our atmosphere (mainly carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) act like the outside covering of a greenhouse - trapping warmth from the sun and making life on Earth possible.


What's happened though is our increasing greenhouse gas emissions from things like transportation, industry, energy production, agriculture and deforestation are causing our planet to heat at a faster rate. Once this global warming affects our weather patterns and climate, it is referred to as climate change.


The following website has been produced by the Ministry for the Environment and explains climate change in detail.  


Climate Change Office:

Climate change in Northland

Some of the predicted impacts of a moderate rate of climate change for Northland include:

  • changes in average temperature
  • sea level rise
  • rainfall patterns


In general, Northland, like much of the north of New Zealand, is likely to become warmer and drier.


Maintaining farm productivity and profits in an uncertain climate – this presentaion was given by Dr Jim Salinger, climate scientist, Professor Caroline Saunders, Lincoln University, and Rod Oram, financial and business journalist and commentator, at a series of seminars in Whangarei, Dargaville, Kaikohe and Kaitaia on 14 and 15 July 2011. 


Jim spoke on the latest information on climate variability and change and Rod outlined the work of Caroline’s team on what this means to agricultural trade, greenhouse emissions and what steps farmers can take to reduce emissions whilst improving their economic viability and business opportunities in a changing world.  Rod further advanced the emissions trading scheme and climate change discussion and in particular the pressures being placed on trade now and during the 21st Century.  As Rod emphasised, New Zealand stands to gain from both its low energy farming systems and from exporting skills and expertise its has and is developing in this field.


pdf logo.Download the presentation notes (pdf 2MB)


For further information on predicted impacts for our region, visit the Ministry for the Environment's website:

The challenge for landowners

Almost 50 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are made up of methane and nitrous oxide, the two gases most closely associated with farming.  For this reason the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have a close interest in issues relating to climate change.  


Their website addresses the challenges to landowners and has a specific section on the challenges for Māori landowners.

Visit the climate change page on the MPI website