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

 


Voyage To Study New Zealand’s Hot Tap

Thursday 29 July 2004

Voyage To Study New Zealand’s Hot Tap

Go to the east coast of the North Island, and the climate will be about 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer, on average, than at the same latitude on the west coast.

The reason: subtropical water brought across the Tasman Sea on an ocean current known as the Tasman Front. It’s an extension of the East Australian Current – the playground of surfing sea turtles in the movie, Finding Nemo.

“The Tasman Front is New Zealand’s hot tap,” says physical oceanographer, Dr Phil Sutton, from the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA). “It’s why sea turtles sometimes turn up at the Poor Knights Islands,” says Dr Sutton, “and why marlin can be caught further south on the east coast than the west.”

Dr Sutton is leading a voyage on NIWA’s deepwater research vessel, Tangaroa, which leaves later this week to study the Tasman Front.

The scientists will collect instruments which have been suspended in the current, recording its speed for the past year.

“We are trying to find out how strong and variable the current is, because it’s so important for the country’s climate,” says Dr Sutton. “This research should help us understand the role of the front in large-scale changes in the Tasman Sea, such as the so-called “warm blob” – an area which warmed markedly in the late 1990s, causing record high temperatures in New Zealand.”

While Dr Sutton will be investigating the modern-day current, NIWA paleo-oceanographer, Dr Helen Neil, will be supervising the drilling of cores from the seabed, collecting sediment dating back hundreds of thousands of years.

Tiny, single-celled animals fossilised in the mud act as a record of what happened to ocean currents in the past. “About 125,000 years ago, the world was warmer overall than it is now, but some patches of the globe may even have been cooler. We can find out the situation in New Zealand through analysis of traces of oxygen and carbon trapped in the fossils. This will give us some clue as to what we can expect from future global warming,” says Dr Neil.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half A Billion Accounts: 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>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Results:

Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news