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Reflections On Science

In the face of the mind-boggling peril of climate change, feel the despair, then work harder – James Renwick

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 11th, 2017.

With the, somewhat signposted, news that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and the warmest in New Zealand since modern records began in 1909, Professor James Renwick writes that we need to channel energy into urgent action. An excerpt (read in full): The past year also saw two milestones: the atmospheric concentration of […]

2016 another scorcher year – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 9th, 2017.

2016 was the hottest year in New Zealand in over a century, surpassing the previous warmest year on record, 1998. Niwa released its annual climate summary today, which showed 2016 was the warmest year on record based on the seven-station series which began in 1909. The full annual climate summary is available on Niwa’s website. […]

Hikurangi ‘Megathrust’ potential to be studied – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 26th, 2016.

GNS Science will lead a multi-million dollar study investigating the Hikurangi subduction zone and what danger it might pose to New Zealand. NZ Herald science reporter Jamie Morton highlighted the study, which has received $6.5 million in funding from the Government’s Endeavour Fund. The scientists will examine the Hikurangi subduction zone, where the Pacific tectonic plate […]

Myths no help to struggling sea lions – Jim Roberts

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 12th, 2016.

Myths about sea lions, sparked by a consultation paper out for public comment, are counterproductive to the conservation of the species, writes Niwa fisheries scientist Dr Jim Roberts. An excerpt (read in full…) Myth – NZ sea lions mainly eat squid Southern arrow squid make up less than one-fifth of their diet. Furthermore, survival and […]

NIWA Annual Climate Summary – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on January 12th, 2016.

2015 was a dry, sunny year for New Zealand, but no hotter than average overall, according to NIWA’s annual climate summary. You can access the full annual climate summary here. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology also released its 2015 climate summary last week, which showed that 2015 was the fifth warmest year on record for Australia. […]

Christchurch wildlife smothered in silt

Steven Trask posted in on April 9th, 2015.

Christchurch’s freshwater wildlife is being smothered in silt, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Canterbury and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). The study, published today in the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, highlights the decline of wildlife in the city’s waterways following the Christchurch […]

Kiwi scientists embark on a whale of a mission

Laura Goodall posted in on January 28th, 2015.

New Zealand and Australian scientists are about to hunt some of the biggest predators in the icy Southern Ocean – humpback and blue whales. The NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) vessel Tangaroa leaves Wellington on Thursday 29 January for Terra Nova Bay in Antarctica. This is the starting point of a six-week research initiative […]

Ten years on: Experts reflect on the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami

John Kerr posted in on December 18th, 2014.

Ten years after the devastating 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, experts reflect on the event and how our understanding of these disasters has changed over the last decade. At 2pm NZT on the 26th December 2004,  a ~9.2 magnitude quake 160 km off the coast of northern Sumatra generated an immense tsunami, the likes of which […]

New fault line discovered in Wellington Harbour

Laura Goodall posted in on October 8th, 2014.

A previously unknown fault in Wellington Harbour has been discovered, but scientists say it is unlikely to increase the capital’s known risk of earthquake damage. The Aotea fault, named for its proximity to Aotea Quay, was found by NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) marine geologists mapping the area between the Cook Strait Ferry terminal and Point […]

Storm waves a factor in sea ice retreat

John Kerr posted in on May 30th, 2014.

Large waves generated by ocean storms have a greater impact on the breakup and retreat of sea ice than previously thought. New research from NIWA, published this week in Nature, suggests that large ocean waves whipped up by storms can fracture Antarctic sea ice hundreds of kilometres from the ice edge and accelerate sea-ice retreat. […]

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