Latest news

NIWA scientists are predicting that this year’s ozone hole will stay around for longer than usual, potentially lasting into early summer. 

NIWA’s Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate, Dr Olaf Morgenstern, says this is largely due to a combination of climate change and the 2022 Tonga volcanic eruption. 

Smoke from the devastating Australian wildfires impacted the atmosphere in a way that’s never been seen before.
The Tongan volcanic eruption may be responsible for New Zealand’s unusually vibrant sunrises and sunsets, say NIWA scientists.
Stacy Mohan looks at how the shockwaves from a remote Tongan island rippled through NIWA’s research community.

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MethaneSAT is New Zealand’s first official government-funded satellite mission. The core mission of this unique satellite is to support reductions in methane emissions around the world.

Latest videos

The laser lady of Lauder

By day Penny Smale is a mum to two young boys, living on a rural property in the middle of a farming district in Central Otago.
By night, she leaves home, walks the short distance to what is essentially a large outbuilding in a paddock, and fires lasers into the sky. Penny operates a Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument at the Lauder research station in Central Otago.  Essentially, she fires lasers into the sky and uses a telescope to measure what comes back.

The large reductions in traffic pollution in our major cities seen during week 1 of lockdown have been maintained during week 2.
NIWA scientists say air quality has dramatically improved in Auckland since the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown was instigated.
Researchers at NIWA’s Lauder atmospheric research station in Central Otago have measured prolonged carbon monoxide concentrations well above normal levels.
Air samples from the native Fiordland forest are being collected by researchers as one of the first steps in an ambitious new NIWA-led project to reassess New Zealand’s carbon budget.
On the eve of the 30th anniversary since the Montreal Protocol came into force, new research by NIWA scientists reinforces its reputation as the world’s most successful environmental treaty.

CO2 levels measured at Baring Head

The graph shows carbon dioxide (CO2) levels measured at Baring Head, NIWA’s clean air station, near Wellington. This station has been running since 1972 and is home to the longest running continuous CO2 measurements in the Southern Hemisphere.

The on-going rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that is fuelling climate change is also driving significant changes in the waters off our coasts.

Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher is looking to turn the internationally accepted science of monitoring greenhouse gas emissions upside down—and the rest of the world is watching closely.
Arrowtown may be known for its picturesque autumn scenery, but in winter this tiny Central Otago town has a problem.

April 2021: Latest CarbonWatch results presented at EGU

Massive increases in computing power are allowing NIWA scientists to not only analyse more data, faster, but also to envisage completely new experiments.

Today we found NIWA’s Andrew Marriner hard at work in the Ocean-Atmosphere Container Lab and asked him to explain his work onboard.

If it wasn't for a damaged shoulder, Wills Dobson wouldn't be launching weather balloons or fixing high-precision atmospheric measuring instruments.
Sitting at the surface of Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, are layers of ice more than 10,000 years old. And trapped inside those layers are bubbles of ancient air – like tiny time capsules - able to tell scientists a story about what the world used to be like and how humans have changed it.
How can we help you?
NIWA makes a range of trace gas data freely available on our FTP site.
CFCs have damaged the ozone layer and led to higher UV levels and increased health risks. Our role is to understand the causes and effects of ozone depletion, to inform the public of the risk.
Like the GMS satellite, the NOAA Series of polar orbiting satellites (operated by NOAA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are a component of the World Weather Watch meteorological satellite network.

"Detergent of the atmosphere"

PDF of this article (381 KB)

Annual mean OH concentrations near the earth’s surface, calculated with a chemistry-transport model. (Map: J. Lelieveld, et al. (2004). Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 4: 2337–2344.)

Key reactions in the photo-oxidation of trace gases. (Graphic: Katja Riedel)

Katja Riedel and Keith Lassey explain how OH, the hydroxyl radical, works to cleanse the atmosphere of harmful trace gases.
What happens to the millions of tonnes of gases that nature and human kind lob into the atmosphere every year?

NIWA has developed a device for measuring and monitoring indoor air quality. It is called the Particles, Activity and Context Monitoring Autonomous Node - PACMAN for short.
This lesson will explore the use of Māori environmental indicators [tohu] to anticipate local weather and climate conditions.
Antarctica is experiencing stunning skyscapes like those recently seen in New Zealand, thanks to the afterglow effect from the Tongan volcano.
The current method for calculating wind speed-up is inadequate, and can grossly under-predict correct design wind speeds in NZ's complex terrain.
Climate data and common terms explaining the causes and effects of climate change.
Summer is for scientific fieldwork. Three NIWA scientists are heading into the wild blue yonder, some with fancy technology and others with a coffee cup and a bag of party balloons.


All staff working on this subject

Atmospheric Modeller
Principal Scientist - Climate
Emeritus Researcher – Atmospheric Radiation
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
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Principal Scientist - Research Software Engineering
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scientist
Atmospheric Scientist
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Atmospheric Technician
Atmospheric Scientist
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Principal Technician - Atmosphere
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Principal Technician - Climate and Risk Applications Developer
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