NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) today announced its intention to purchase a multi-million dollar super computer which will allow New Zealand environmental scientists to develop new research initiatives at the forefront of global oceanic, atmospheric and climate science.
The abundance and sizes of fish within the Kapiti Marine Reserve have impressed research divers who have just completed a survey to assess how well the marine environment has recovered since it was protected in 1992.
Internationally significant new evidence of the vital role in global climate change played by the Southern Ocean has been assembled by a multi-national New Zealand-led research team during a 30-day scientific expedition into Antarctic waters, 2500 miles southwest of New Zealand.
French researchers are now, or soon to be, closely involved in a range of New Zealand environmental and marine studies taking in such diverse activities as migratory problems of fish including eels, the foraging habits of royal albatross in southern oceans, and the potential tsunami impact of undersea landslides.
NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa sails from Wellington tomorrow [Sunday, 31 January] on a month-long million-dollar, multi-national scientific expedition that will take her 2000 miles southwest of New Zealand into the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.
The earth’s temperature in 1998 was easily the highest in the global record reaching back to 1860. The final confirmed global mean temperature was 0.56°C above the recent long-term average based on the period 1961-1990. The previous warmest year globally, 1997, was 0.43°C warmer than average.
"The public should be aware that the UV radiation over New Zealand, particularly in the north of the country, will be particularly high over the next few days under clear sky conditions", said National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) scientist Paul Johnston.
An international centre for post-graduate study in ocean and atmospheric research is being established in Auckland. The Institute of Aquatic and Atmospheric Sciences will be a joint project between the University of Auckland and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).
The chances of a remnant tropical cyclone crossing northern New Zealand is raised this summer and autumn, according to research by NIWA climate scientists. And there is a very real chance that some part of New Zealand will see either the high winds or heavy rainfall these systems produce.
New Zealand scientists with internationally recognised skills will be teaming up with top level American researchers both in the US and New Zealand to find solutions for environmental problems common to both countries.
Higher than usual risks of tropical cyclones are predicted for the melanesian countries of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the coming tropical cyclone season, according to climate scientist Reid Basher of New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). "This is because of the La Niña conditions which have begun to affect the South Pacific region’s climate this year" says Dr Basher.
Great concern over the strength of the Government’s commitment to research, science and technology as articulated in the RS&T 2010 strategy was expressed by the directors of the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in their annual report.
Observations in the tropical Pacific confirm that a La Niña event is now under way and is continuing to strengthen. "It looks like this La Niña is shaping up to be the most significant since the 1988/89 La Niña", says NIWA climate scientist Dr Jim Renwick. "Sea temperatures in the critical region along the equator in the central Pacific are now well below average."
A joint New Zealand-German marine scientific expedition costing over of $2.5 million will explore a series of undersea volcanoes including "Rumble III" 200 kilometres north of East Cape. It will also carry out geophysical surveying and seabed rock sampling along the South Pacific "Ring of Fire" in the latitudes of the southern Kermadec Islands.
Developing atmospheric conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean point to La Niña weather conditions prevailing over New Zealand by Christmas according to NIWA senior climate scientist Dr Brett Mullan.