CCII (Climate Changes, Impacts & Implications) is a targeted research project that will update and improve projections of climate trends, variability and extremes across New Zealand out to 2100, based on the latest global projections. It will generate new knowledge about the potential impacts of climate change and variability on New Zealand’s environment, including our natural ecosystems and native species, and the impacts on the many productive activities which depend on the environment and enable continued growth and prosperity.
The CCII project is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The project will run for four years from October 2012 to September 2016.
The work comprises five inter-related research projects:
- Improved climate projections.
- Case studies of key pressures, critical time steps, and potential responses for five important environments: alpine and high elevation native forest ecosystems, high-and hill-country environments, lowland environments, coastal and estuarine systems, and marine food webs.
- Identifying feedbacks, understanding cumulative impacts and recognising limits.
- Increasing the relevance of climate change science and decision-making capacity to consider climate change risks through collaborative learning processes.
- Synthesising the research to support coordinated, evidence-based decision-making and policy development by New Zealand organizations.
The coordinated development of better knowledge of the impacts and implications of climate trends and variability based on stronger modelling systems and enhanced adaptive capacity included in this project will:
- Foster better foresight.
- Reduce potential for perverse outcomes through increased awareness.
- Improve evidence-based decisions. Overall government, business, iwi, and communities will gain capacity to adapt in a timely and robust manner to an increasingly complex, climate-challenged world.
This research will significantly improve our knowledge of climate change impacts combined with other critical threats on natural environments (land, freshwater, marine and their components). Knowledge of feedbacks among ecosystem services and impacts of climate change and other drivers (e.g., land-use change) is also much improved, leading to enhanced understanding of cumulative impacts on natural resources and environmental limits. As a result, policy makers, planners, resources managers, business and iwi have the capacity to better anticipate future trends and uncertainties in ecosystem services. They will act adaptively to manage services with minimal risk, thereby maintaining current services and safeguarding future options. Lastly, New Zealand’s businesses that depend on the environment (e.g., primary industries, tourism and energy) accelerate their transition to a “green growth” pathway, thus New Zealand’s economy continues to grow while reducing impacts on the environment.