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

 

Aussie bushfire smoke reaches NZ – update 2nd Jan 2020


By NIWA air quality scientists Dr Ian Longley

A thick river of smoke has been flowing across the Tasman Sea for over a month, tracked in detail by scientists using satellite imagery. Most of the time the smoke passes to the north of New Zealand, or is removed by rainfall before it reaches us. However, from time to time the smoke will inevitably reach our shores.

PM10 – a measure of particles in the air - is continuously measured at regional council monitoring stations in most larger and some small towns. Smoke from Australian bushfires raised PM10 levels across North Island on 4th – 6th December.

A similar event has impacted South Island over the 1st – 2nd January. Monitoring data showed that PM10 levels rose for a period of around 12 hours - increasing to 3 to 5 times normal levels - in a sequence starting in Southland in the morning, crossing Otago in the afternoon and Canterbury in the evening.

The amount of smoke reaching each town is slightly different, as the smoke travels like a swirling, braided river with thicker and thinner channels.

Much of the monitoring network in Otago is not operational in the summer due to air quality mainly being impacted by winter home heating. However, NIWA’s prototype low-cost “ODIN” air monitoring network in Arrowtown clearly detected the sudden arrival of the smoke there at around 10am, and lasting all day. Smoke levels were comparable to a typical winter’s evening in Arrowtown, except this time the fires are over 2000 km away.

Where it was monitored, the smoke was neither thick enough nor persistent enough to breach National Environmental Standards for Air Quality – which are expressed as an average over 24 hours. The average concentration of smoke that impacted South Island were at most a third of the levels that have regularly been recorded in urban Sydney over the last month.

By the morning of the 2nd Jan the thickest part of this smoke ‘river’ had passed New Zealand and heading out into the Pacific. However, a thinner remnant is leading to elevated PM10 being recorded in the top of South Island

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: Policy Lessons From A Year Of Covid-19

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua was in a sound position to continue to meet its mandate in the face of the COVID-19 induced economic shock. However, we must continue to transform so as to remain relevant and effective in addressing longer-term challenges, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said... More>>


Transport Industry Association: Feb 2021 New Vehicle Registrations Strongest On Record

Motor Industry Association Chief Executive David Crawford says that the February 2021 figures are the strongest for the month of February ever. Registrations of 12,358 were 8.0% up on February 2020. Year to date the market is up 7.1% (1,735 units) compared to the first two months of 2020... More>>

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>


OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 1.5% In January 2021 While Euro Area Records Sharp Increase To 0.9%

Annual inflation in the OECD area picked up to 1.5% in January 2021, compared with 1.2% in December 2020. Following a rebound between December and January, the annual decline in energy prices was less pronounced in January (minus 3.9%) than in December... More>>


Hemp Industries Association: Could The Next Team NZ Boat Be Made Entirely Of Hemp?

With The America’s Cup due to start in a few days’ time, innovators from a very different sphere have been wondering how long it could be before New Zealand could be competing in a boat entirely built from hemp, with the crew eating high-energy, nutritious hemp-infused foods and wearing high-performance hemp kit..? More>>


ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>