Antarctica

Latest news

After travelling almost 12,000km in the past six weeks, a group of scientists returns to Wellington at the weekend with new knowledge about life in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.
Two Māori carvers head to Antarctica next week to complete and install a traditional carving at Scott Base, New Zealand’s headquarters on the ice.
A group of intrepid scientists leaves Wellington for Antarctica this week on board NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa for what their leader calls “a voyage of discovery”.

Ross Sea Environment and Ecosystem Voyage 2019

NIWA climate scientists are calling for volunteers to unearth weather secrets from the past – including those recorded by members of Captain Robert Scott’s doomed trip to the South Pole in 1912.

Our work

Acidification of the world’s oceans from rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reduces the availability of carbonate required by some marine organisms to build shells and skeletons, and potentially affects their ability to maintain existing structures.

NIWA’s Antarctic fisheries research is allowing us to investigate possible effects of the longline Antarctic toothfish fishery on the toothfish population and on the local ecosystem.

This research project focusses on modelling atmospheric chemistry and climate from the surface to the top of the stratosphere, using sophisticated chemistry-climate models.

We don’t clearly understand the ecological effects of commerical toothfish fishing in the Ross Sea region. To improve our knowledge, we conducted a survey of demersal (bottom-dwelling) fish species on the Ross Sea slope - particularly grenadiers and icefish - during the 2015 Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage.

Latest videos

2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3
2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3
2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #1
TAN 1802 - Antarctic voyage leader Dave Bowden on the phone from the Southern Ocean.
Dolphins farewell RV Tangaroa - 9 February 2018
RV Tangaroa is farewelled by a pod of dolphins as it heads off on its 12th voyage to the white continent. Footage courtesy of Kareen Schnabelke.
Researching NIWA's Antarctic sea ice

NIWA marine physics technician Brett Grant gives a tour of our Antarctic field camp and explains how we are conducting research into sea ice in the coldest place on the planet.

After travelling almost 12,000km in the past six weeks, a group of scientists returns to Wellington at the weekend with new knowledge about life in the Ross Sea of Antarctica.
Two Māori carvers head to Antarctica next week to complete and install a traditional carving at Scott Base, New Zealand’s headquarters on the ice.
The Ross Sea Region Research and Monitoring Programme (Ross-RAMP) is a five-year research programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and run by NIWA to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area.
A group of intrepid scientists leaves Wellington for Antarctica this week on board NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa for what their leader calls “a voyage of discovery”.

Ross Sea Environment and Ecosystem Voyage 2019

From 8 Jan - 27 Feb 2019 RV Tangaroa is undertaking a six-week research voyage to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. On board scientists, supported by 19 crew members, will be studying ocean, atmosphere and ecosystem processes with the focus on establishing monitoring programmes for the newly created Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area (MPA).
The Ross Sea region of Antarctica is one of the most untouched environments in the world. The region is teeming with unique marine life and unbroken food chains that are vital to the future of the Antarctic ecosystem.
NIWA climate scientists are calling for volunteers to unearth weather secrets from the past – including those recorded by members of Captain Robert Scott’s doomed trip to the South Pole in 1912.
The new science season at Antarctica is just a few days away from opening and NIWA researchers are busy packing containers and shipping them to the ice where they will be reunited with them in the coming months.
An unavoidable delay in a research ship’s voyage to Antarctica resulted in some surprising and important findings about the behaviour of emperor penguins.

The absence of sea ice near Antarctica over the past six weeks has astonished scientists undertaking research aboard NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa.

Tangaroa Marine Environment and Ecosystem Voyage 2018

A couple of days ago we deployed the last of three long-term passive acoustic monitoring moorings, as a collaboration between the Ross-RAMP MBIE Endeavour project and The Australian Antarctic Division.

Today we left the area south of 60°S and have started the five-day return journey to New Zealand.

Think about a futuristic world where at night time, people use different kind of self-propelled vehicles to hover across cities, illuminating the skies with different colours and shapes, while transiting around them.

We have been conducting daily net tows to get an integrated picture of the macro-zooplankton dynamics in the area.

Today we found NIWA’s Andrew Marriner hard at work in the Ocean-Atmosphere Container Lab and asked him to explain his work onboard.

In the back of Karl Safi’s lab, where we found him working in the semi-dark, is a very futuristic looking piece of kit called the Radially Aligned Linear Photosynthetron (RALPH).

To verify the identities of animals we see on the DTIS camera, we use an epibenthic sled to collect physical samples of animals from the seafloor.

The Benthic team have been observing and identifying animals living on the seabed at Long Ridge, north of the Ross Sea.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-4-386-0523
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Fisheries Scientist
Phone: +64-4-382-1610
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Physical Oceanographer
Phone: +64-4-386-0348
Marine Mammal Acoustician
Phone: +64-4-386-0538
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
Phone: +64-7-856-1736
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Marine Biologist
Phone: +64-9-375-2037
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
Phone: +64-4-386-0906
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Phone: +64-7-859-1803
Atmosphere-Ocean Scientist
Phone: +64-4-386-0924
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Phone: +64-4-386-0928
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Phone: +64-4-386-0876
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Atmospheric Scientist
Phone: +64-3-440-0400
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Marine Physics Modeller
Phone: +64-4-386-0311
Atmospheric Scientist
Phone: +64-4-386-0399
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Freshwater Ecologist
Phone: +64-3-343-7854
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