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The wild weather that saw parts of the lower North Island and top of the South Island under water last week had a definite touch of winter about it.

A New Zealand research vessel will set sail from Wellington Harbour this Sunday bound for Chile as part of a major international project to understand and predict the phenomena influencing the world’s climate.

On 27 January 2004 a team of scientists set out from Wellington on board NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa bound for the Ross Sea in Antarctica.

“As New Zealand enters the third day with temperatures soaring into the mid thirties, the significance of this early 2004 heatwave is only being recognised as the official figures are filed,” said Senior Climate Scientist Dr Jim Salinger.

Two rare New Zealand seaweeds have been discovered in Northland, and they could have exciting commercial applications for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Scientists thought they had seen the last of a drifter buoy lost during an experiment in the Southern Ocean in 1999. But to their amazement, the buoy has turned up halfway around the world in the Falkland Islands – albeit looking a little worse for wear.

If you thought this winter seemed a little more hazardous than usual, you would be right. From floods and droughts to extreme storm surges and magnitude 7 earthquakes, this winter outstripped last year for the sheer numbers of natural hazards.

Forty years ago anglers in New Zealand were actively encouraged to ‘kill eels on sight’. Although the attitude towards eels has changed significantly since then, it has not stopped our native longfinned eel stocks declining, mirroring the global downward trend in freshwater eel recruitment.

The NIWA research vessel Tangaroa, which rescued British rower Jim Shekhdar from the waters of the Southern Ocean earlier this week, had just finished mapping the shipping lanes of Foveaux Strait.

A single tidal turbine 10 metres in diameter in the Cook Strait’s Tory Channel could generate enough electricity to power 12 homes, says NIWA scientist Derek Goring.

New Zealand scientist Mike Williams has received $100,000 funding over two years to study how ice shelves respond to climate change in one of the world’s most pristine and least explored parts of Antarctica – and he won’t even need to get his feet wet.

Recent analysis of satellite-based measurements by NIWA scientists shows that record amounts of ozone were destroyed over Antarctica in September this year.

The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has approved $1.8 million over the next 5 years to address the declining status of New Zealand’s lakes.

NIWA recorded revenue of more than $84 million in the 2002–03 financial year – $3 million more than the previous year, according to NIWA’s annual report, which was tabled in Parliament today.

Measurements by NIWA staff at Scott Base, Antarctica, confirm reports of a large ozone hole this year.

Ever fancied yourself as a climate scientist? Well, now you can have a go at being one with the launch of the world’s largest climate prediction experiment at the Science Museum in London and the BA Festival of Science in Salford on Friday, 12 September 2003 (British Standard Time).

Research that will help restore New Zealand’s streams, rivers, lakes, and estuaries has received $9 million of funding over six years from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

An underwater video camera on wheels is the latest weapon in the war against the introduction of exotic marine species into New Zealand waters.

Natural hazards hit New Zealand with a vengeance last week, with an earthquake, a tsunami, floods, large waves, and gales all making their presence felt.

Improvements to a new seismic hazard model should make estimating the likelihood of future earthquakes and shaking in New Zealand easier, reports the latest Natural Hazards Update, published today from the Natural Hazards Centre.

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