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Christchurch has a severe air pollution problem, especially during winter. This winter, scientists from NIWA will be using a $150,000 spectrometer to examine how this local air pollution reduces the amount of UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

With the increasing focus on renewable energy sources, how can we find the best places to put new wind farms? NIWA scientists are using several new tools, including one which uses sound waves, to help answer this question.

Keeping your car in tune could do more to help reduce motor vehicle pollution than fitting catalytic converters, says the National Centre for Climate–Energy Solutions.

The Antarctic ozone hole has formed again this year, as expected, but it hasn't matched the records set last year.

NIWA measurements of atmospheric ozone above Arrival Heights, near Scott Base in Antarctica, have reached the lowest values recorded. On September 30 the ozone level recorded there was 124 Dobson Units (DU) which is a new record low measurement for the site.

Do you have the impression that you get sunburnt more easily in recent summers? If so, you are probably right. A study by NIWA scientists, which appears in the 10 September issue of the international magazine Science, demonstrates that long-term increases in peak summertime UV radiation have occurred in recent years as a result of ozone depletion.

Dr Greg Bodeker of NIWA Lauder, Central Otago, is one of two recipients this year of the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) international "Research Award for Young Scientists".

The Ozone Hole in the stratosphere above Antarctica affects our lifestyles, our climate, and our environment. It represents one of nature’s most dramatic responses to air pollution arising from human activities of the 20th century. NIWA has an active atmospheric research programme measuring ozone at Lauder in Central Otago and at Arrival Heights in Antarctica.

Nobel Laureate Paul J. Crutzen, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995, will visit New Zealand later this month under the Science and Technology Agreement between New Zealand and the Federal Republic of Germany.

"The public should be aware that the UV radiation over New Zealand, particularly in the north of the country, will be particularly high over the next few days under clear sky conditions", said National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) scientist Paul Johnston.

NIWA scientists have applied statistical techniques to predict ozone levels, and hence the UV levels, that may be expected over New Zealand for the coming summer.

An international centre for post-graduate study in ocean and atmospheric research is being established in Auckland. The Institute of Aquatic and Atmospheric Sciences will be a joint project between the University of Auckland and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

The 1998 Antarctic ozone hole is unusually large and formed very early.


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