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Our Impacts

Our science aims to have economic, societal, environmental and cultural impact beyond the academic research. We are involved in assessing climate change science for policymakers. We contribute to improving the public understanding of the impacts of climate change via media articles and interviews. We also engage people in our science and Antarctica through videos and school outreach activities.

Science for Policymakers

Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Andrew Mackintosh was a Lead Author of the Polar Regions chapter of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). This chapter assesses the state of physical, biological and social knowledge concerning the Arctic and Antarctic ocean and cryosphere, how they are affected by climate change, and how they will evolve in future. He was also a contributing author to the Sea Level Rise chapter, which assesses past and future contributions to global, regional and extreme sea level changes, associated risk to low-lying islands, coasts, cities, and settlements, and response options and pathways to resilience and sustainable development along the coast.

Media Coverage

Our research has been featured by various media outlets. Here are some examples.


New Zealand's melting glaciers show the human fingerprints of climate change

The Guardian

New research has found extreme melting of the country’s glaciers in 2018 was at least ten times more likely due to human-caused global heating. There’s some change that we’re committed to, but if we cut greenhouse gas emissions we still might save some of the higher altitude glaciers.

The findings were published in Nature Climate Change.


‘Cluster of cold years’ behind New Zealand’s surprising glacier growth

Carbon Brief

Across the world, scientists have recorded the retreat of hundreds of glaciers, providing categorical evidence that the Earth’s climate is warming. But in a few pockets, glaciers have bucked this trend by advancing. In the Southern Alps of New Zealand, a cluster of cold years locally allowed the glaciers to advance.

The findings were published in Nature Communications.


Antarctic glacier's past rapid retreat

Radio New Zealand

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet has long been thought more stable than the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, where the melting of several glaciers has now reached the point of no return. This research adds evidence that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is not a sleeping giant, but has in the past responded quickly to warming.

The findings were published in Nature Communications.

The Cold, Hard Truth

NZ Geographic

New Zealand’s glaciers are significant not because of their size but their dynamism. Thanks to their steepness, the amount of snow deposited in their catchments, the funnel-shaped topography and their fast melt, New Zealand's glaciers register change faster than others anywhere else on Earth.


Here are some short videos that highlight aspects our past research

Antarctica - Office of Ice & Rock

Footage compiled from an expedition to Mackay Glacier, Ross Sea, Antarctica. Rock samples were collected during this expedition to work out how much ice was lost in the recent geological past and, in turn, to improve our understanding of the relationships between climate, ice sheets and sea level.

The findings were published in Nature Communications and Quaternary Geochronology.

Reconstructing New Zealand's glacial history

The video shows field work in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. Rock samples were collected to determine the extent of past glaciers in the area, using a technique called cosmogenic nuclide dating.

The findings from this field work were published in Quaternary Science Reviews (here and here).

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