Despite the small size of this year’s ozone hole, scientists cannot yet say whether this ozone hole season marks the start of a sustained recovery of the Antarctic ozone layer or just year-to-year variation.
NIWA is looking at the long-term effects of motorways and wood smoke on air quality. Scientists are assessing the impacts of Auckland’s southern motorway on air quality in a surrounding neighbourhood. They are doing this to understand more about the health effects of air pollution.
NIWA scientists say concentrations of ozone high in the atmosphere are projected to increase.
This is good news for the ozone hole over the South Pole. However, modelling shows that, by the year 2100, ozone in the lower atmosphere could actually be a problem for New Zealand and for much of the Southern Hemisphere.
The HIAPER jet recently flew very low over NIWA’s atmospheric climate research station at Lauder. The international mission is taking a slice of the atmosphere, so scientists can learn more about greenhouse gases globally.
The concentration of methane in the atmosphere is rising, according to measurements made by NIWA.
NIWA has today released measurements from its globally significant Baring Head station showing that southern hemisphere atmospheric methane increased by 0.7% over the two-year period 2007–08. While this increase may not sound like much, it is about 35 times more than all the methane produced by New Zealand livestock each year.
A paper to be published in the prestigious science journal, Nature, this week offers a rare piece of good news on climate change but signals that the atmosphere may be more variable than previously suspected.