Vol.14 No.4 - December 2006

The first Waikato BioBlitz meant 24 hours of intense scrutiny of Hamilton’s riverside precinct. NIWA provided scientific expertise and entertaining education of young and old. Here, aquatic plant specialist Tracey Edwards shows students the invasive weeds hornwort and egeria. Read about the blitz.

In this issue

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    National Climate Centre

    For more information, contact
    Dr David Wratt, Centre Leader
    tell: 0-4-386 0300
    email: [email protected]
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    Regional contributions to past and future climate change

    PDF of this article (234 KB)
    Modelled past and expected future changes in concentrations of CO2, CH4, and N2O above pre-industrial (1750) levels.
    The model’s prediction of how much the four different country groups have and will contribute to changes in global mean surface temperature as a result of their greenhouse-gas emissions.
    What if a polluter-pays principle is applied to global climate change?
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    How is climate linked to respiratory infections in Auckland?

    PDF of this article (215 KB)
    Auckland City Hospital. (Photo: Ashmita Gosai)
    Graphs of respiratory infections and whooping cough.
    Winter weather in Auckland. (Photo: Georgina Griffiths)
    Ashmita Gosai and Jim Salinger and their research partners have combined hospital admissions and climate data to tease out the connections.
    The influence of weather and climate on human health is an important issue for hospitals and health agencies in New Zealand.
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    Land-locked fish and lake-residence time

    PDF of this article (242 KB)
    The graph shows residence times and lake capacities and which fish have developed land-locked populations in each lake.
    Lake Wakatipu has a residence time of 4339 days, or almost 12 years. (Photo: Rohan Wells)
    Lake Tutira has a residence time of 744 days, or about 2 years. (Photo: NIWA Aquatic Plant Group)
    Lake Arapuni has a residence time of about a week. (Photo: Aleki Taumoepeau)
    Wairere Falls has a residence time of half a day. (Photo: Jacques Boubée)
    How much water does a fish need and how long does it need it?
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    Lampreys run at Monowai - Marsden Fast-Start award for marine ecology study - Wastewater award

    PDF of this article (123 KB)
    Lampreys run at Monowai
    Adult lampreys congregating at the outfall of NIWA’s Monowai research facility. (Photo: Dave Ward)
    In springtime, adult lampreys (Geotria australis) enter fresh water to spawn after 2–3 years at sea where they feed parasitically on marine fish and mammals. The adults are secretive and seldom seen, and it was discovered only a few years ago that they spend up to 18 months in fresh water before spawning, during which time they don’t feed.
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    New Zealander heads world commission for agricultural meteorology - Challenging work with a Fijian village - Historic weather events

    PDF of this article (96 KB)
    New Zealander heads world commission for agricultural meteorology
    NIWA climate scientist Jim Salinger has been elected President of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO is the United Nations agency with responsibility for issues relating to weather, climate, and the water cycle.
    The Commission for Agricultural Meteorology is one of the eight technical commissions of the WMO.
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    Visiting scientists advance knowledge of marine biodiversity - NIC goes online

    PDF of this article (170 KB)
    Visiting scientists advance knowledge of marine biodiversity The NIWA Invertebrate Collection (NIC) benefitted from the visits of several overseas specialists in 2006; they came to NIWA to study cyclostome bryozoans, black corals, and Antarctic polychaetes. Sole survivor
    Hornera robusta, a cyclostome bryozoan, magnified through scanning electron microscopy
    Dr Paul Taylor (Natural History Museum, London) came in February to sort, label, and identify species of Cyclostomata.
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    Hamilton gets BioBlitzed

    PDF of this article (265 KB)
    Graphic: Anouk Wanrooy, Landcare Research
    Tracey Edwards uses the microscope to confirm a plant’s identity. (Photo: Janice Meadows
    Thomas Wilding describes the fish that are being caught by the DOC scientists. (Photo: David Roper)
    Diver Aleki Taumoepeau with some of the items found at the river’s edge. (Photo: Tracey Edwards)
    As Rohan Wells maintains communication via the safety tether, a diver searches for aquatic plants along the edge of the river.
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    NZSMT Teacher Fellows - Training at NIWA

    PDF of this article (95 KB)
    NZSMT Teacher Fellows
    Could this be the one? Andrea collects a sample of seaweed from the Wellington shore for later analysis for useful marine bacteria. (Photo: Alan Blacklock)
    In the last issue of Water & Atmosphere we met Christchurch teacher Dave Ward.
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    At the beach with Darcel Rickard

    PDF of this article (130 KB)
    Darcel brings up the rear on a working visit to the beach at Mt Maunganui in the Bay of Plenty. (Photo: Paula Blackett)
    Growing up in Raglan, in the midst of a family famous for its commitment to values of conservation and community service, Darcel Rickard has always known that the coast would figure in her future. Her grandmother Eva led the successful battle to reclaim for their hapu the Raglan land that was confiscated during World War II and is now the site of the Kokiri Centre.
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    Mapping seaweeds at Dusky Sound and Stewart Island

    PDF of this article (262 KB)
    At this site in Fiordland, high kina density was correlated with low algal abundance. (Photo: Steve Mercer)
    Percent cover of two seaweeds and kina at different depths in Dusky Sound sites.
    Algal forests are the foundations of our subtidal rocky ecosystems. (Photo: Steve Mercer)
    As well as directly sustaining herbivores, algal forests shelter many small crustaceans and molluscs, of particular interest to the scarlet wrasse and blue cod.
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    Predicting storm events at the coast

    PDF of this article (269 KB)
    After a season of heavy storms, erosion at Raglan’s Wainui Beach threatens to topple the watchtower. (Photo: Janice Meadows)
    In a country rich in natural hazards, our civil engineers and emergency managers need to know the worst-case scenario. Scott Stephens and Doug Ramsay show how modelling can be used to predict a (very) bad day at the beach.
    Extreme storm events can cause high sea levels, large waves, intense rainfall, and large river flows.
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    An experiment in ecosystem stress

    PDF of this article (274 KB)
    The team sets up the site at Waiheke. (Photo: Nicole Hancock)
    The study site at Pollen Island shows the array of sampling chambers. (Photo: Drew Lohrer)
    The clear and dark chambers used for sampling dissolved oxygen and nitrogen. (Photo: Nicole Hancock)
    Mesh cages for holding transplanted animals in place. (Photo: Nicole Hancock)
    Nicole Hancock describes how a team of ecologists have added environmental stress to two estuarine shores to compare the resilience of their ecosystems.
    We all know people who are resilient in the face of hardship or illness.
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    Using Water & Atmosphere in your classroom

    PDF of this article (60 KB)
    One of NIWA’s aims with this magazine is to contribute to science education in New Zealand. To this end we distribute Water & Atmosphere without charge to New Zealand high schools. Articles are assigned ‘Curriculum Connections’ to indicate which of the NZ NCEA Achievement or Unit Standards they can complement as a classroom resource.
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    Using food webs to manage coastal resources

    PDF of this article (187 KB)
    Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve, north of Gisborne. (Photo: Kerry Fox, DOC)
    Debbie Freeman counts lobsters on the intertidal reef platform in Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve. (Photo: Jamie Quirk, DOC)
    Red rock lobster can thrive in a marine protected area. (Photo: Ian Nilsson)
    Trophic pyramid of a typical New Zealand coastal reef.
    Coastal managers face a balancing act when it comes to competing demands for marine resources.
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    Dealing to wind hazards in New Zealand

    PDF of this article (227 KB)
    Tornado damage, Greymouth, March 2005. (Photo: Steve Reid)
    Number of tropical cyclones entering the New Zealand region each year.
    Our country is buffeted by winds from top to toe. Stefan Reese and Steve Reid explain the different types of wind hazard and introduce a Regional RiskScape project to help planners and managers.
    New Zealand is exposed to a wide variety of natural hazards. Even though wind is something we experience almost every day, severe winds can cause considerable damage and occasionally result in many casualties.