Vol.11 No.4 - December 2003

Stratocumulus clouds over Wellington. What weather did these clouds bring? New methods for predicting the weather mean that the accuracy of weather forecasts is improving. For more details, refer to "How good are New Zealand weather forecasts?".

In this issue

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    Burrowing by heart urchins: an important function in soft-sediment ecosystems

    PDF of this article (86 KB)
    Drew Lohrer
    Small animals burrowing in the mud at the bottom of the sea could play a key role in increasing the productivity of our coastal waters.
    Living organisms affect the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of their environment. The complex feedbacks between the environment and its inhabitants have become a major research focus in the last 10 years, as scientists have begun to probe the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. One motivation for such research is to improve public awareness of the need to preserve biodiversity.
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    The how and when of catching glass eels

    PDF of this article (85 KB)
    Don Jellyman
    Paul Lambert
    When is the best time to fish for juvenile eels for use in aquaculture?
    All 15 species of freshwater eel spawn at sea. The leaf-shaped larvae, the leptocephalus, drifts back to land over a period of many months. Before entering fresh water, the leptocephalus metamorphoses into a juvenile transparent eel, hence the name glass eel (see Water & Atmosphere 8(4): 21–22).
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    Sediment yield estimates: a GIS tool

    PDF of this article (80 KB)
    Murray Hicks
    Ude Shankar
    Alistair McKerchar
    A GIS layer is now available for estimating long-term average suspended sediment yields from catchments throughout New Zealand.
    How much sediment is a certain river or stream likely to carry over an average year? This information can be useful for a variety of issues.
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    How good are New Zealand weather forecasts?

    PDF of this article (117 KB)
    Richard Turner
    Jim Renwick
    Susanne Schroeder
    A large scientific effort has helped ensure that the accuracy of weather forecasts is improving all the time.
    It has long been the case that weather forecasters have needed very thick skin if they did not want public comments about their predictions to affect them personally. Forecasters have often felt that people just don’t appreciate the complex technology and expertise that goes into weather forecasting.
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    Managing the seabed with multibeam mapping: learning from Canadian experience

    PDF of this article (106 KB)
    Richard Pickrill
    Philip Barnes
    New technologies for mapping the seafloor, combined with a range of databases, have become essential tools for seabed management in Canada. New Zealand is working towards adopting the same ideas.
    Only recently have oceanographers been able to map the seabed in something near the detail possible on land. Using acoustic technology we can now produce accurate, aerial-like images of the seafloor. The technique is called multibeam mapping (see Water & Atmosphere 9(2): 24–25).
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    NIWA news forum

    On this page
    What’s the UV today?
    NIWA scientist to head major international ocean project
    The oceans’ own “tuatara” discovered
    The high-tech world of lobster surveillance
    Award for NIWA climatologist
    Inventory of New Zealand greenhouse gas emissions, 2001
    What’s the UV today?
    Top: John Robinson beside the real-time UV display, under test at NIWA, Lauder
    Bottom: Samples of the information panels for use with the UV index, with directions for high and extreme UV levels.
    NIWA has developed a real-time UV display in consultation with the Cancer Society and S
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    The WMO/UNEP 2002 ozone assessment: a New Zealand perspective

    PDF of this article (102 KB)
    Every three or four years the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly publish a report on the current understanding of the stratospheric ozone layer and its relation to humankind.
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    Does stream restoration work?

    PDF of this article (140 KB)
    Jody Richardson
    Jacques Boubée
    Stream restoration is actively promoted by many regional and local authorities. But does it work?
    We assessed a restoration project eight years on and conclude yes, but...
    Many people agree that human activities can harm stream environments, and many are interested in doing something about it. Today, most regional and local authorities actively promote stream enhancement by providing appropriate information in their publications or by funding local community groups to undertake restoration projects.
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    Riparian management: how well are we doing?

    PDF of this article (126 KB)
    Stephanie Parkyn
    Rob Davies-Colley
    How effective are riparian zones at protecting streams from the effects of land-use change?
    Stream riparian management projects are being undertaken across New Zealand in an attempt to reverse some of the impacts of land use on waterways. In pastoral farming, riparian management usually means fencing out livestock and planting trees along stream margins to create buffer zones.
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    Using sound waves to sort out seafloor sediment types

    PDF of this article (113 KB)
    Yves Le Gonidec
    Geoffroy Lamarche
    Ian Wright
    Multibeam mapping produces accurate and detailed maps of the seafloor, but that’s not all. A recent project has investigated ways to extract information on seabed composition from multibeam backscatter data in New Zealand waters.
    Multibeam mapping of the seabed is an important tool for both research and commercial applications (see “Managing the seabed with multibeam mapping.”).
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    Photo survey: do people like riparian management on farm streams?

    PDF of this article (151 KB)
    Stephanie Parkyn
    Aslan Wright-Stow
    John Quinn
    Streambank plantings might be good for the stream ecosystem, but do people like the look of the results?
    An important benefit of riparian buffer zones can be their aesthetic appeal.