Antarctica

Latest news

The New Zealand ship Janas has recently returned from a six-week winter research voyage to the Ross Sea where scientists made the first observations of developing Antarctic toothfish embryos.
While most New Zealanders were settling into their summer break, some scientists were double-checking their survival gear before heading to work deep in the Southern Ocean.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
After travelling almost 12,000km in the past six weeks, a group of scientists returns to Wellington at the weekend with new knowledge about life in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.

Our work

Climate Present and Past is a core-funded project under NIWA's National Climate Centre. It aims to explore historical climate data and track past changes in climate through a range of approaches.
NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.

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.

NIWA’s Antarctic fisheries research is allowing us to investigate possible effects of the longline Antarctic toothfish fishery on the toothfish population and on the local ecosystem.

Latest videos

2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3
2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3
2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #1
TAN 1802 - Antarctic voyage leader Dave Bowden on the phone from the Southern Ocean.
Dolphins farewell RV Tangaroa - 9 February 2018
RV Tangaroa is farewelled by a pod of dolphins as it heads off on its 12th voyage to the white continent. Footage courtesy of Kareen Schnabelke.
Researching NIWA's Antarctic sea ice

NIWA marine physics technician Brett Grant gives a tour of our Antarctic field camp and explains how we are conducting research into sea ice in the coldest place on the planet.

Read about the science that will be undertaken during the voyage.
Read details about the aims of the voyage and find information about the scientists and crew on board.
In a small green laboratory perched on the rocky volcanic southern peninsula of Ross Island, Antarctica, there’s a space waiting for a new shiny, hi-tech Christmas present.
NIWA antarctic buoy deployed

A buoy to measure waves in the Southern Ocean is lowered on to sea ice via a helicopter from research vessel, Aurora Australis.

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.

Chilled Calypso

Humanity wants to discover the reasons behind thinning ice, acidic water and rising temperatures in the Southern Ocean. Susan Pepperell finds that NIWA scientists are racing against time in taking on this challenge.

More than a dozen NIWA scientists are heading to Antarctica in the next couple of months as the crucial weather window opens for the summer season of research above, on and under the ice.

A team of 22 Australian, New Zealand and French scientists will depart Wellington next week, onboard NIWA's RV Tangaroa, for a 42-day voyage to the Mertz Polynya region of Antarctica.

This Sunday, NIWA celebrates the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, which is hailed as the most successful international environmental protection treaty to date.

This research project focusses on modelling atmospheric chemistry and climate from the surface to the top of the stratosphere, using sophisticated chemistry-climate models.

Antarctic Climate Change

NIWA climate scientist Dr James Renwick explains what changes are occurring in the Antarctic in response to climate change and what's likely to happen in the future.

Antarctic Coastal Marine Life in a Changing Climate

NIWA marine ecologist Dr Vonda Cummings discusses the likely effects of climate change on marine invertebrates living on the seafloor of the Ross Sea coast.

Sea Ice and Climate Change

Dr Mike Williams, physical oceanographer at NIWA, explains the importance of Antarctic sea ice in the Earth's ocean and climate systems and how they may be affected by climate change.

Climate Change and Deepsea Life

Dr Dave Bowden outlines concerns over the impacts of climate change on deepsea life in Antarctic waters.

Exploring Antarctic Deepsea Life

Most of the Southern Ocean outside of the narrow Antarctic continental shelf is more than 3000 m deep. This poses a real challenge for scientists studying the assemblages of animals living on the seabed.

Ocean Acidification

The oceans are an important sink for atmospheric CO2, but as they take up increasing amounts of CO2 they are becoming more acidic.

The Decline of Subantarctic Wildlife

Populations of rockhopper penguins, elephant seals, and grey-headed albatrosses in the subantarctic have declined quite markedly in recent decades.

Current and Future Management of the Toothfish Fishery

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet explains what makes the Antarctic toothfish fishery one of the best managed fisheries in the world.

Ecosystem Effects and Mitigation of the Toothfish Fishery

NIWA fisheries scientist Dr Stuart Hanchet describes the guiding principles that CCAMLR (the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Life) applies to the Antarctic toothfish fishery.

The Antarctic Toothfish Fishery

Antarctic toothfish are fished using longlines in southern Antarctic waters. NIWA fisheries scientist Alistair Dunn describes the history of the fishery and how it has been monitored.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Principal Scientist - Climate
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Marine Mammal Acoustician
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
Algal Ecologist
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