Sea level rise

Local sea level rise around the coast of Aotearoa is also affected by up and down movements of our land. These small but continuous changes add up, and in areas that are going down (subsiding) the annual rate of sea level rise can double. NZ SeaRise has connected this vertical land movement data with climate driven sea level rise to provide locally-relevant sea level projections. Image: NZ SeaRise

Predicting sea level rise for Aotearoa New Zealand

2 May 2022

For the first time, New Zealanders can see how much and how fast sea level will rise along ‘their own’ stretch of coast and in their neighbourhood.

The NZ SeaRise: Te Tai Pari O Aotearoa programme has released location specific sea level rise projections out to the year 2300 for every 2km of the coast of Aotearoa New Zealand. These projections can be accessed through a new online tool developed by Takiwā, a data management and analytics platform. The tool allows users to click on a particular location on the coast and see how much sea level is expected to rise, and by when, under different climate change scenarios.

Climate change and warming temperatures are causing sea level to rise, on average, by 3.5 mm per year. This sea level rise is caused by thermal expansion of the ocean, by melting glaciers, and by melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

NZ SeaRise is a five-year research programme funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund. It brings together 30 local and international experts from Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, GNS Science, NIWA, University of Otago and the Antarctic Science Platform to improve projections of sea-level rise in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Antarctic Science Platform is proud to have contributed to the Antarctic science that that sits behind this research, revealing the direct influence this unique continent has on our shores at home, and around the world.

- Read more from NZ SeaRise here.

- To see what role Antarctica plays in sea level rise, watch Tipping Point here.