Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


NZ scientists embark ocean-climate study to Chile

NZ scientists embark on major ocean-climate study to Chile

A New Zealand research vessel will set sail from Wellington Harbour this Sunday bound for Chile as part of a major international project to understand and predict the phenomena influencing the world’s climate.

During the voyage, John Hunt from the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) will deploy 61 high-tech drifting floats into the ocean from the NIWA research vessel Kaharoa.

The floats, worth $20,000 each, will provide real-time measurements of the temperature and salinity of the upper ocean that will help forecast long-term climate change, and events like El Niño and tropical cyclones.

Each float will collect about 140 temperature and salinity profiles, and provide valuable information on the ocean currents before its batteries run out in about 5 years. ‘The float sinks to a depth of between 1600 and 2000 meters where it remains for nine or ten days, being carried by ocean currents,’ said NIWA oceanographer Philip Sutton.

‘It then rises to the surface, measuring the temperature and the salinity through the water column as it ascends. Once on the surface, the float transmits this information and its location via a satellite.’

Dr Sutton said 30 floats would be deployed between Wellington and Chile, with the other 31 floats deployed on the return journey from Chile to Wellington. ‘We don’t have much information on the temperature and salinity of the South Pacific, so these floats will play a very important role in helping to fill this gap,’ said Dr Sutton.

The voyage – the first of three planned by NIWA this year – is a joint collaboration between NIWA, University of Washington (Seattle), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (San Diego). These deployments contribute towards a global programme called Argo, which aims to deploy and maintain 3,000 drifting floats in the world’s oceans by 2006. There are currently 1029 active floats deployed by 17 countries in operation throughout the world’s oceans.

‘Information from all the floats is shared internationally, and will be invaluable for monitoring the state of the ocean, predicting weather and cyclones, and studying global climate,’ said Dr Sutton.

Kaharoa departs from Kings Wharf, Wellington, on the evening of 15 February.

For a copy of a map of the planned float deployments off Kaharoa, contact Suzy Botica, Science Communication, Tel: 0-4-386 0566

To view the current global float status, see

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>


Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>


Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>


Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news