Oceans

Recording old oceans centre tag.

Latest news

New NIWA-led research shows increasing flood risk is going to be what leads people to make changes to adapt to sea-level rise.
With cascading waterfalls and native bush tumbling down mountainous terrain, Fiordland is one of the most eye-catching parts of the country. But peer beneath the waves and you'll see that Fiordland's marine invertebrate and seaweed communities are every bit as remarkable and awe-inspiring.
A project is under way to determine whether Aotearoa New Zealand’s long defunct rock oyster industry can be revived.
A pilot study carried out by NIWA and the University of Auckland has found microplastics in samples collected from the seafloor in the Marlborough Sounds.

Our work

Clouds over the ocean, and how they trap or emit radiation from the sun, are partly influenced by the biology, biogeochemistry and physics of the surface ocean below.

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. 

Ocean acidification conditions around the New Zealand coast are being measured to establish baseline conditions and to quantify future change.
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

Dive into the alien world of plankton in the Ross Sea

Plankton are the base of the oceans food web and are vital to our survival. But as our world changes will they be able to continue to play this essential role? Join us as we follow a group of NIWA scientists investigating various aspects of this question in the ocean around Antarctica.

Antarctic science onboard NIWA’s RV Tangaroa
Researchers are working their way through a wealth of new Antarctic marine data after RV Tangaroa successfully completed its five week scientific voyage to the Ross Sea.
NIWA's Sarah Searson and Jennie Mowatt
If you want to get accurate scientific readings from the icy depths of the Ross Sea, who do you turn to?
Ocean Acidification
This video has been produced to highlight ocean acidification as a potential issue affecting the NZ shellfish aquaculture industry
Seabird Diversity in the Southern Ocean

The New Zealand archipelago, particularly its subantarctic islands, is a global seabird hotspot. It's home to 25 per cent of the world's breeding seabird populations and a very diverse array of penguin, albatross, petrel and shearwater species.

Rob Murdoch is gving a few talks during the Our Far South voyage, and his talks will include a number of videos which help to contextualise his presentations.

Antarctic Sea Ice

The sea ice that forms around Antarctica in winter effectively doubles the size of the continent, and its extent has increased over recent years.

The Iron Hypothesis

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Philip Boyd explains the iron hypothesis: what it is, its history, and some recent experiments in the Southern Ocean.

Southern Ocean Gas Exchange

The Earth's oceans – particularly the Southern Ocean – play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace gases from the atmosphere.

In order to understand the roles of different processes affecting ocean atmosphere exchange of CO2 and DMS it is essential to develop quantitative models for these.

The transfer rate of most gases between the atmosphere and ocean is controlled by processes just beneath the water surface.

This programme aims to provide better predictions of changes in the ocean and climate system, particularly the way in which the ocean around New Zealand regulates greenhouse gases and clouds. 

Rob Murdoch, our General Manager of Research, is one of the experts on board, and will be sending us daily blog posts/updates on the voyage and its progress.

He is also giving a number of talks around the issues above - the videos accompanying his talks will also be posted online. Please check back often - we will be updating this section of the website regularly during the voyage. 

Fifty intrepid travellers set off from Bluff tomorrow, onboard the Spirit of Enderby, a Russian ice-strengthened ship, destined for Antarctica and the sub-Antarctica. Organised by Dr Gareth Morgan, the Our Far South voyage aims to raise New Zealanders' awareness of this unique area.

Next week, NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa will set sail for the Chatham Rise, for an international study of how microscopic organisms in the surface waters may affect the creation of clouds.

A recent expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth has discovered one of the most enigmatic creatures in the deep sea: the 'supergiant' amphipod.

Is ocean iron addition part of the solution to climate change? Cliff Law, NIWA explains: 

When you are at the beach this summer, don't be surprised if you're swimming next to a sea snake with a paddle for a tail, a big-headed-turtle, or a magnificently coloured flat-faced fish. New Zealand's got its share of weird and wonderful marine visitors. Several species of sea snake and turtle regularly reach our waters.

The shark with the hammer-shaped head (Sphyrna zygaena) is a big eater and is potentially dangerous to humans. It has been found in New Zealand coastal waters, in up to 110 metres of water, and on the continental shelf. It is more commonly seen around the North Island.

Dr Philip Boyd on geoengineering

NIWA's Dr Philip Boyd on geoengineering and the research which won him and a team of scientists from NIWA and Otago University the 2011 Prime Minister's Science Prize.

A team of scientists from NIWA and the University of Otago has won the top 2011 Prime Minister's Science Prize for their research into guiding the world's response to climate change.

A historic agreement, aimed at improving country-to-country collaboration on marine research, observations and data management between New Zealand and Australia, has been signed in Canberra this morning.

Voyage updates from voyage leader Scott Nodder.

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa was at sea 2-20 November 2011 for the TAN1116 voyage.

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. 

NIWA scientists have worked for many years on Antarctic atmospheric processes and aquatic ecosystems.

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller
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Marine Sedimentologist
Principal Scientist - Carbon Chemistry and Modelling
General Manager - Operations
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Marine Physics Modeller
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Marine Physics
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Physical Oceanographer
Freshwater Fish Ecologist
Principal Technician - Marine Geology
Algal Ecologist
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