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Plans to develop a hazard prediction service were announced today by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), following the commissioning of their new supercomputer.

New Zealand has been experiencing exceptionally settled autumn weather over the last week or so. This is because an unusually strong and persistent anticyclone (high) has given the country very high pressures from 19 May, resulting in "Golden Autumn Weather", with mild daytime temperatures, crisp nights, light winds, hardly any rain and an abundance of sunshine.

Recent underwater surveys of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve are revealing the benefits of marine protection.

An agreement in principle has been reached for the sale of the Glenariffe Salmon Hatchery currently owned by NIWA, to Rakaia Salmon Limited. The new company wishes to raise salmon for the market by using the hatchery raceways. Initial concerns by environmental groups over potential capture of young salmon for the farm from the Rakaia River will not be an issue.

New Zealand’s glacier snow lines at the end of summer were among the highest on record, with the majority of the country's significant glaciers having lost all of last year’s winter snow.

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.

Climate observations and predictions point to La Niña weather conditions continuing over New Zealand during winter according to NIWA senior climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger.

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 establishment of a National Climate Centre for Monitoring and Prediction to become fully operational by early July was announced today by NIWA (the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research).

NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) today announced its intention to purchase a multi-million dollar super computer which will allow New Zealand environmental scientists to develop new research initiatives at the forefront of global oceanic, atmospheric and climate science.

The abundance and sizes of fish within the Kapiti Marine Reserve have impressed research divers who have just completed a survey to assess how well the marine environment has recovered since it was protected in 1992.

Internationally significant new evidence of the vital role in global climate change played by the Southern Ocean has been assembled by a multi-national New Zealand-led research team during a 30-day scientific expedition into Antarctic waters, 2500 miles southwest of New Zealand.

Dr Rob Murdoch, Regional Manager of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said today in a message from NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa that the studies had been extremely successful and "scientists are excited by the preliminary results.

French researchers are now, or soon to be, closely involved in a range of New Zealand environmental and marine studies taking in such diverse activities as migratory problems of fish including eels, the foraging habits of royal albatross in southern oceans, and the potential tsunami impact of undersea landslides.

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa sails from Wellington tomorrow [Sunday, 31 January] on a month-long million-dollar, multi-national scientific expedition that will take her 2000 miles southwest of New Zealand into the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.

The earth’s temperature in 1998 was easily the highest in the global record reaching back to 1860. The final confirmed global mean temperature was 0.56°C above the recent long-term average based on the period 1961-1990. The previous warmest year globally, 1997, was 0.43°C warmer than average.

"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.

Crayfish living along the Abel Tasman National Park coastline will be introduced to the silicon chip age later this month.

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 chances of a remnant tropical cyclone crossing northern New Zealand is raised this summer and autumn, according to research by NIWA climate scientists. And there is a very real chance that some part of New Zealand will see either the high winds or heavy rainfall these systems produce.

"During La Niña episodes the risk of a cyclone coming south and reaching New Zealand from the tropics increases," said senior NIWA climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger. "On average, Northland experiences two direct hits per decade, or one chance in five in any given cyclone season.


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