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.

Today the screaming sixties are living up to their name. We are at 67°S, just east of Scott Island, and deck work has been suspended temporarily while we weather a storm.

Sean Hartery, a PhD student from Canterbury University based at NIWA, is collecting samples and data for two main areas of atmospheric research while he is out here in the Ross Sea: ice nuclei and aerosols.

On Friday the sun shone for the first time in a while, and we sailed close to our second proper iceberg of the voyage.

We are slowly zigzagging our way north up Iselin Bank as the mesopelagic team have been running their giant fish finder, the EK60.

2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3

2018 - Antarctic Voyage Update #3

In the last few days our microbial team has been doing intensive sampling of the water column using the CTD, which is deployed every day around noon.

We have been told by people who have previously visited the Ross Sea that you could count on seeing three things: icebergs, penguins on icebergs and seals hauled out icebergs.

Scientists and crew have been busy assembling an active acoustic mooring for deployment, working on the Iselin Bank and have been visited by an Adelie penguin.

John McGregor from NIWA checks on the instruments that measure atmospheric gases throughout our voyage.

On trips that take us away to isolated places we need to take a Medical Doctor, just in case anyone requires emergency medical or surgical treatment.

It is -4 degrees outside and our third day of intensive oceanographic work continues.

We are getting to the end of our transit south, which means today was the last of our daily emergency drills.


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