Antarctica

Latest news

While most New Zealanders were settling into their summer break, some scientists were double-checking their survival gear before heading to work deep in the Southern Ocean.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
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.

Our work

NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.

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.

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.

While most New Zealanders were settling into their summer break, some scientists were double-checking their survival gear before heading to work deep in the Southern Ocean.
Part of the world’s largest ice shelf is melting 10 times faster than the overall average and solar-heated waters beneath the ice shelf are to blame, NIWA research has found.
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.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Biogeochemistry Technician
Marine Mammal Acoustician
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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Processes Scientist
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Fisheries Acoustics Scientist
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Atmosphere and Climate
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Physics Modeller
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
Algal Ecologist
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