Seen a stunning sunrise or sunset lately? The Tongan volcano may be the cause

Seen a stunning sunrise or sunset lately? The Tongan volcano may be the cause

To understand these sightings, the forecasting team contacted their colleagues at the Lauder Atmospheric Research Station in Central Otago, who confirmed that their ground-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument has been detecting unusual spikes in aerosols in the stratosphere, at around 20-25 kilometres above New Zealand.

In the snow: new tool to advise New Zealanders of snow conditions

In the snow: new tool to advise New Zealanders of snow conditions

NIWA’s Snow and Ice Network (SIN) provides information on snowfall, depth of snowpack, snow melt and climate for ten alpine sites across New Zealand, including Mueller Hut above Mount Cook Village.

Easy access to environmental research data

Easy access to environmental research data

New Zealand’s seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) have created the National Environmental Data Centre (NEDC) website to make the environmental information held by CRIs more accessible to all New Zealanders.

How we won the 36th America’s Cup

How we won the 36th America’s Cup

During the 2021 America’s Cup, NIWA’s supercomputer, the largest in New Zealand, was used to analyse past environmental conditions (hindcasting), predicting future weather (forecasting) and modelling ocean currents in the Hauraki Gulf – all to an extremely high resolution.

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

Surveying scallop populations with artificial intelligence

To ensure the fishing surveys have the least impact possible, NIWA has been working with the University of Canterbury and Fisheries New Zealand to develop a non-invasive method of counting scallop populations.

Snapper on the rise

Snapper on the rise

Thirty years of management informed by a raft of scientific research appears to now be paying dividends.In the Hauraki Gulf, commercial and recreational fishers are reporting improving catches, and NIWA scientists will soon be able to estimate whether the highly valued Hauraki Gulf snapper population is seeing a similar increase.

This Recyclable Boat Is Made From Wool

This Recyclable Boat Is Made From Wool

Changing tastes and the popularity of man-made fibers means there’s a surfeit of strong wool in New Zealand—an estimated 1 million tons is stored waiting for the prices to improve—but 26-year-old inventor Logan Williams, and his company Shear Edge, is hoping to make the most of this increasingly ignored material by chopping it up and using it to make boats, knives, fencing, and just about anything that’s currently made using plastic.

NIWA celebrates its Science New Zealand Award winners for 2021

NIWA celebrates its Science New Zealand Award winners for 2021

Video of Science New Zealand Awards 2021 - Individual - Lifetime Award - Dr Malcolm Clark.Video of Science New Zealand Awards 2021 - Early Career Researcher Award - Alex Geddes.

Our seas are sizzling again

Our seas are sizzling again

Marine heatwave conditions, classified when the sea temperature is above the 90th percentile for at least 5 days, have been observed in waters offshore of all regions of New Zealand.

Opening windows and doors “one of the best ways” to remove Covid-19 from classroom air

Opening windows and doors “one of the best ways” to remove Covid-19 from classroom air

One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 being transmitted in Aotearoa New Zealand classrooms is simply by opening doors and windows to create natural ventilation, say NIWA air quality experts.

In New Zealand, People (and Moths) Rediscover Dark Skies

In New Zealand, People (and Moths) Rediscover Dark Skies

The man had made his way from Texas to the Mackenzie region of New Zealand’s South Island for the landscapes, to see vivid swathes of violet lupins set against blue glacial lakes and snowy peaks rising beyond golden tussocked hills.

Explosive research sheds light on volcanic tsunami

Explosive research sheds light on volcanic tsunami

The following video shows glass beads being tipped down aerated ramps into water to mimic what happens when pyroclastic flows hurtle down the sides of erupting volcanoes: .

The largest flood flow ever measured

The largest flood flow ever measured

Flood flows on the Buller River this month were the largest of any river in Aotearoa New Zealand in almost 100 years, NIWA measurements show.Meanwhile, a NIWA monitoring station on the Buller River at Te Kuha, about 10km upstream, was continuously recording water levels throughout the flood.

New biodiversity memoir on the primnoid corals of New Zealand

New biodiversity memoir on the primnoid corals of New Zealand

A group of gorgonian octocorals that provide shelter for fish and invertebrates in the deep sea is the subject of NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir.The NIWA Biodiversity Memoir series describe the taxonomy of New Zealand marine life, mostly for invertebrates such as sponges, corals, marine worms, molluscs, crustaceans and sea stars.

Seabirds spend nearly 40% of their time on high seas, study finds

Seabirds spend nearly 40% of their time on high seas, study finds

NIWA seabird ecologist Dr David Thompson says while seabird tracking research has not been carried out for all albatrosses and large petrels in New Zealand, we know that several species also spend time in Chile and Peru, in Japan and the USA in the north Pacific Ocean, while others visit Namibia and South Africa.

Shark numbers decline amid research gaps

Shark numbers decline amid research gaps

New research published in premier science journal Nature last week, with input from NIWA, showed the global population of oceanic sharks and rays has declined by more than 70 per cent in the past 50 years, with ongoing decline likely to lead to the extinction of some species.

COVID science celebrated

COVID science celebrated

Mr Morgan acknowledged the challenges faced by everyone this year and said that Science New Zealand was committed to providing science solutions – ensuring that knowledge was applied to benefit society.

2020 in top 10 warmest years for New Zealand

2020 in top 10 warmest years for New Zealand

Forecaster Ben Noll says that if that remains the same, then this year would be the 7th warmest on record for New Zealand,.Mr Noll says a variable January and cooler March this year is what will most likely keep New Zealand out of the top five.

Marine heatwave conditions forming: NIWA

Marine heatwave conditions forming: NIWA

NIWA forecasters say a marine heatwave is forming around parts of New Zealand after sea surface temperatures (SSTs) warmed considerably last month.

Chance find leads to first look at coral larvae

Chance find leads to first look at coral larvae

Small orange flecks spotted floating around in a respiration chamber at a NIWA laboratory have led to a discovery about the spawning habits of a deep-sea stony coral in New Zealand waters.

NIWA scientists make salmon farming breakthrough

NIWA scientists make salmon farming breakthrough

The industry is looking to expand by farming in more exposed locations, but NIWA aquaculture scientist Dr Javed Khan says such growth is likely to be constrained unless new approaches are taken in the hatcheries that supply the juvenile fish to the farms.

Winter 2020 – NZ’s warmest winter on record

Winter 2020 – NZ’s warmest winter on record

This year’s result also means seven of the 10 warmest winters on record in New Zealand have occurred since the year 2000.This was the highest temperature recorded there during winter since records began in 1885 and the equal-4th warmest winter temperature on record for New Zealand as a whole.

Squat lobster memoir hot off the press

Squat lobster memoir hot off the press

Written by marine biologist Kareen Schnabel, the 350-page treatise presents everything we currently know about the different kinds of squat lobster living in New Zealand’s waters.Kareen’s memoir gives detailed information about 87 species of squat lobster in the New Zealand region.

Nameless nodes get new look from NIWA

Nameless nodes get new look from NIWA

Pelorus Ridge was officially granted its title by the New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) last week, along with 42 other place names for undersea features in New Zealand waters.Mr Mackay says the naming of Pelorus Ridge carries on a tradition of undersea features connected to NIWA.

During Lockdowns, the Earth (Sort of) Stood Still

During Lockdowns, the Earth (Sort of) Stood Still

“We see it effectively moving around the globe as a seismic lockdown wave,” says Royal Holloway University of London seismologist Paula Koelemeijer, one of the paper’s coauthors.“Earthquakes are often really lower frequencies than the seismic signals from human activities,” says Koelemeijer.

The Quest to Purge New Zealand of Invasive Predators

The Quest to Purge New Zealand of Invasive Predators

In 2015, New Zealand’s government launched a nationwide effort called Predator Free 2050 with a $17 million (28 million New Zealand dollars) investment to rid the country’s 164,375 square miles of invasive mammals in the next three decades.

NIWA staffer eyeballs COVID-19 modelling

NIWA staffer eyeballs COVID-19 modelling

Before Samik came to work at NIWA he spent five and a half years as a post-doctoral researcher in the epidemiological modelling group at the University of Warwick.

Auckland’s drought most extreme in modern times

Auckland’s drought most extreme in modern times

As weather systems tracked toward New Zealand from the west and north, they lacked moisture because of cooler eastern Indian Ocean seas caused by the IOD.NIWA’s climate change expectations suggest spring average rainfall decreases for northern New Zealand, including Auckland.

Tangaroa heads back to sea – with social distancing

Tangaroa heads back to sea – with social distancing

Planning for this voyage has presented a few challenges for NIWA vessel operations manager Greg Foothead as he waited to hear if lockdown restrictions would be eased in time for the ship to leave.

Huge waves on Wellington coast to ease later today, says NIWA

Huge waves on Wellington coast to ease later today, says NIWA

High waves pounding Wellington’s south coast today are being caused by a deep area of low pressure passing the Chatham Islands, according to NIWA forecaster Ben Noll.Mr Noll said the low was responsible for generating strong winds and large waves between the Chathams and mainland New Zealand.