Water & Atmosphere 2, February 2011

Scrutiny on the Bounty: the risks and riches of seabed mining.

Water & Atmosphere 2, February 2011 (PDF 2 MB)


Billions of dollars in mineral wealth may lie untapped beneath our seabed. But how do we explore it without harming the priceless biodiversity living there?

Early warning for Samoa

Samoa’s devastating 2009 tsunami highlighted the importance of early warning systems for the small Pacific nation. But the Samoan community is also looking for an early warning of another kind – a system to help the islands cope with the changing climate.

It's a wonderful world

News reporting of the natural world tends to focus on ‘charismatic megafauna’ – the big and the beautiful, the strong and the terrible – like polar bears, pandas, whales, and sharks. Far from the easy headlines, however, a fascinating array of smaller, uglier creatures are lynchpins of ecosystems.

Ocean's treasure

Research and exploration suggests that NZ's ocean seabed holds mineral resources worth many trillions of dollars. But is extraction realistic? How can the impacts be managed? And why is there an urgent need to revisit New Zealand’s oceans' policy?


New Zealand is riddled with faults created by the collision of the Pacific and Indo–Australian tectonic plates. We’ve found hundreds of faults in the Bay of Plenty alone, but overall, marine geologists have probably identified only about half of New Zealand’s submarine faults.


One of the world’s worst freshwater weeds was threatening lakes in Hawke’s Bay. Now, it is almost gone. Here’s a case where long-term science investment, plus inter-agency cooperation, paid big dividends for New Zealand.
Since 2007, the Tui oil field has yielded nearly 30 million barrels of crude. Now, energy companies are searching the depths for other minerals and gases to drive New Zealand's energy future. [New Zealand Oil & Gas]