RV Tangaroa at Cape Wheatstone. Photo: Joshu Mountjoy/NIWA

February Update

1 March 2023

ASP science on the 2023 Tangaroa voyage

Researchers from the ASP (Miles Lamare, Cliff Law and Sarah Seabrook) have returned to Wellington after a 6-week research cruise aboard the RV Tangaroa to the Southern Ocean and Ross Sea region.

One key focus for ASP team was gathering new information on shallow ecosystems along the Northern Victoria Land coastline to better understand how marine life in the area may respond to future warming and sea ice loss. Coastal work was undertaken at eight sites from Cape Wheatstone in the south, to Robertson’s Bay at the northern end of the Ross Sea coastline. Information was gathered on species distributions and biodiversity, how coastal food-webs function, and how benthic communities are structured by the physical environment.

A second focus for the ASP was processes that control phytoplankton productivity in the Ross Sea region, and how the current balance could change with climate warming. The focus was on coastal waters, where important land-ocean interactions that contribute to supply of potentially productivity-limiting nutrients, particularly trace metals, are thought to occur.

Find more updates from this southern voyage here:

RNZ: What lies beneath the ice

NIWA: Biological Wonderland hidden in the Ross Sea

NIWA: 2023 - Antarctic voyage TAN2302

NIWA Tangaroa

Rosselid glass sponges (spiky barrels). Photo: NIWA

New SWAIS 2C website

The Antarctic Science Platform is partnering internationally to embark on an exciting scientific drilling project, that investigates the Sensitivity of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to 2 degrees Celsius (SWAIS 2C). The team have recently launched their website, and you can check it out here.

WRCP appointment

Professor Tim Naish has been appointed to the World Climate Research Programme’s Joint Scientific Committee. His four year term commences in 2023. More here.