Taking the pulse of the Ross Sea Outflow
Melt water produced by ice shelves around Antarctica influences ocean currents, temperature and salinity around the Southern Ocean and globally. The Ross Ice Shelf to the south of New Zealand is amongst the largest Antarctic ice shelves. Currently, our capacity to model its outflow and impact on our climate system is limited.
This project will take new measurements, both from ships and from robotic gliders programmed to fly up and down through the ocean, to understand how water moves between the shallow shelf and the deeper ocean. We’ll compare our findings to historical data and document the ways in which the Ross Sea outflow has changed over the past decade.
In doing so, we’ll improve how these processes are simulated in the NZ Earth System Model and contribute to more accurate predictions of New Zealand’s future climate.
Project contact: Melissa Bowen, University of Auckland
Project budget: $300,000
Project duration: July 2017 – July 2019
Latest news and updates
2018 may well be the year New Zealand gets serious about adapting to our changing climate. Last year, and the start of this one, gave all of us plenty of opportunities to experience a future in which creeping sea level rise and extreme weather – from drought to flood to surprise storm surges – make day-to-day life more precarious and more expensive.
In October 2017, the Deep South Challenge released a report into the state of the nation’s storm and waste water infrastructure, in the face of a changing climate. The report garnered significant media attention – not surprising given the infrastructure is currently valued at well over $20 billion.
The Deep South Challenge awards funding to investigate climate-resilient, high-value crops for the whānau of Omaio
The whānau of Omaio in the Bay of Plenty have joined forces with NIWA researchers to explore the viability of climate-resilient, high-value crops for the rohe. The group has won a $250,000 research grant under the Vision Mātauranga programme of the Deep South National Science Challenge to better understand Omaio’s changing climate and how it might support the community to create a local economy based around a high-value product like kiwi fruit.