NIWA’s research receives international recognition

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World-class climate and ozone research by scientists at NIWA’s Lauder Atmospheric Research Station has been recognised by meteorology’s leading organisation in Geneva, making Lauder the fourth upper-air site in the world to be certified by the global climate-data network.

Information collected by the weekly launch of the Lauder station’s radiosonde weather and ozone balloon soundings, together with associated ground-based measurements, will receive official Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN) certification at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Congress in Geneva in June. This is a significant international endorsement of the capabilities of Lauder Station as a world-class upper-air measurement site.

Stable, standardised, and well-calibrated atmospheric observations are crucial to documenting climate and climate change. The standard network of upper-air meteorological observations, and also weather satellites, provide relatively good coverage but high-quality observations are needed against which these standard observations can be calibrated. This is the purpose of GRUAN.

For this reason, Lauder is paired with the Invercargill radiosonde site operated by the MetService, which produces twice-daily soundings of the atmosphere.

NIWA’s Lauder Station, near Alexandra in Central Otago, is well-known in the global atmospheric science community for its climate research and joins a select group of research stations with GRUAN-certified measurement programmes – Lindenberg, Germany; Ny-Alesund, Norway; Boulder, Colorado, USA; and recently Payerne, Switzerland. Presently Lauder is the only such-certified site in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lauder’s certification will be presented to New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the WMO, Peter Lennox, CEO of MetService, reflecting the expected close collaboration between NIWA and MetService in managing and operating the GRUAN site at Lauder.

Ahead of WMO Congress, an event will be held at Lauder Station on Tuesday 10 March attended by NIWA and MetService executive, scientists and invited media.

For more information

Please contact:

Richard Querel
NIWA Atmospheric Scientist
+64 3 440 0400                                 
richard.querel@niwa.co.nz

GRUAN co-chair Dr Greg Bodeker presents certification to NIWA Atmospheric Scientist Richard Querel at Lauder Station, Central Otago. [Sarah Perriam]