The Antarctic Science Challenge for New Zealand

A 5-year focus for Antarctic, Southern Ocean and Subantarctic Research (2013-2018)


Purpose: ­ to outline the research focus for Antarctic Science, through NZARI, identified from a community-wide strategic science meeting.

With a warming globe, we must determine how vulnerable Antarctica’s ice sheets, shelves and sea ice are to the warming.  Equally, with greater pressures on biological resources, we must determine how resilient biological systems are to both changing climate and fishing pressure.

The Antarctica and Southern Ocean response to global change will have a direct influence on New Zealand’s natural environment and beyond via a global ocean and atmospheric circulation, which in the South is dominated by Antarctic processes.  Understanding and planning for the effects on New Zealand and managing our natural resources will require an integrated study of Antarctic processes (ice, ocean, atmosphere and biology) and how they impact on New Zealand’s ocean, climate and biota.


To view the full Antarctic Futures White Paper follow this link:  full proposal


The Deep South - understanding the role of the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment


Goal: ­ “Reducing the uncertainty of Antarctica’s impact on New Zealand’s oceans, climate and ecosystems in a changing global climate”

The ten research areas identified as New Zealand's first National Science Challenges, announced in May 2013, include the Antarctic proposal "The Deep South - understanding the role of the Antarcic and the Southern Ocean in determining our climate and our future environment".  The proposal, which can be viewed following the link below, explains the importance of the Antarctic Continent to the global systems but also why we as New Zealanders will be amongst the first to feel the effects of the changes there.

Director of NZARI, Professor Gary Wilson, said "this recognises that New Zealand sits within a global system and that understanding the processes that drive our climate and ocean from beyond New Zealand need urgent attention in order to enable us to plan for the changes taht will impact New Zealand, its natural environment and economy.  It also recognises that New Zealand is uniquely placed to lead the world in understanding the role of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in driving this change."


To view the full National Science Challenge Antarctic proposal follow this link:  full proposal

To view the outcome of the first MBIE workshop follow this link:  June 2013 workshop