Antarctica

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Latest news

NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa leaves soon on a six-week voyage to Antarctica, making it one of the few full scientific expeditions to the continent since the global outbreak of COVID-19.
At the bottom of the Southern Ocean, near Cape Adare in East Antarctica, lies an undersea ridge which until this month was only known by its co-ordinates: -71.2132 latitude, 172.1649 longitude.
Five specialist NIWA divers were left ‘gasping’ during their recent plunge under the ice near Scott Base.
New measurements from the ocean under the centre of the Ross Ice Shelf have significantly improved our understanding of the complex processes that drive melting in Antarctica.

Our work

The Southern Ocean is under-sampled. Data collected continuously during the Antarctic Ecosystems Voyagehelped fill an important knowledge gap about oceanographic and atmospheric processes in this important region.
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.
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.

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.

It’s day three at sea and things are all humming along nicely. We’ve just passed 50 degrees south and any faint sighting of the mainland is long gone. The next time we will see land will probably be the Balleny Islands in a couple of days.
Our 42 day adventure to Antarctica aboard NIWA’s RV Tangaroa is just beginning! My name is Blake Hornblow and I am a 2014 Blake NIWA Science Ambassador.
Being selected as one of the two 2014 Blake NIWA Science ambassadors is the most incredible opportunity ever. I still remember the phone call at uni late into second semester last year.
NIWA photographer, Dave Allen, has captured this time-lapse footage of RV Tangaroa departing Wellington yesterday morning.
New Zealand’s news website Stuff.co.nz has created a stunning interactive feature profiling the New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage 2015.
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Antarctica New Zealand and the Australian Antarctic Division are undertaking a six-week research initiative in the Southern Ocean on areas of importance to humpback and blue whales and Antarctic toothfish.
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.

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All staff working on this subject

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