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NIWA Carbon Watch

NIWA Carbon Watch / Understanding climate change and carbon cycles

The first confirmed research partnership of the Raukūmara Pae Maunga kaupapa is with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to undertake a climate change and carbon cycle project called CarbonWatch


Designed to track the carbon absorption, climate change indicators and ngahere restoration impacts on climatic conditions in te Raukūmara, this collaboration will make a significant contribution to climate change and carbon-cycle research. The heavily impacted ngahere and the path to recovery offers a unique opportunity to better understand carbon absorption patterns in recovering native forests.


This research will test the hypothesis that landscape-scale pest control can affect carbon uptake in a native forest as the understory and canopy recover. It will help us understand how to manage indigenous forests and to what extent conservation and restoration programs can offset carbon emissions.


How CarbonWatch works in te Raukūmara

CarbonWatch combines measurements of carbon dioxide and methane with weather models to estimate the amount of carbon emitted from fuels and agriculture that is reabsorbed by Aotearoa’s forests, grasslands and urban ecosystems.


Greenhouse gas observation sites and weather stations provide NIWA with fully calibrated and quality-controlled data. Models are created to shed light on the potential carbon uptake of the forest as restoration occurs so results can be compared against other similar forest regions. 

NIWA will provide Raukūmara Pae Maunga insights into climate change impacts around the region, which will help to predict seasonal rainfall patterns in the future. They will also provide data on how temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, wind and other climate impacts may be relevant to the forest.

This information will help us understand what happens as a forest starts to recover. For example how understory recovery impacts rainfall, interception, evaporation, transpiration, throughfall and absorption of water in te Raukūmara.


The Raukūmara Pae Maunga and CarbonWatch teams will monitor and share data with the help of kura across the rohe, so our leaders of āpōpō can play a part in developing real-time information to guide decision-making into the future.

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