Using a novel observational platform – ocean gliders—this research will observe and understand subsurface variations in temperature, salinity, oxygen and biological factors in water shallower than 200 metres – what we consider to be the shelf seas.
Interest in offshore petroleum and minerals exploration is growing rapidly as investors identify the potential economic returns from New Zealand’s rich marine resources. The challenge for management agencies and scientists is to facilitate development of this natural wealth while ensuring environmental sustainability is not compromised.
NIWA has joined with the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury and Cawthron Institute to form Marine Futures, a research programme funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.
Acidification of the world’s oceans from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reduces the availability of carbonate required by some marine organisms to build shells and skeletons, and potentially affects their ability to maintain existing structures.
We need information on the food web structures of our marine ecosystems in order to manage the effects on the ecosystem of fishing, aquaculture and mining, as well as understanding the potential impacts of climate variability and change on our oceans.