Extreme Weather & Warming: Ngā Kōrero Webinar Recap

Tue, 14 November 2023

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Check out the recording of our latest Ngā Kōrero webinar, Extreme Weather & Ocean Warming

This webinar, hosted on 9 November 2023, featured three guest speakers who are currently investigating the consequences of warming and extreme weather events for New Zealand’s marine life. 

Find more info below or watch the recording which has been uploaded to YouTube:

Ocean temperature change around Aotearoa New Zealand

Dr. Melissa Bowen, an Oceanographer at the University of Auckland, spoke on how climate change is expected to affect ocean temperatures and marine heatwaves in New Zealand. She explained how the storage of heat in the Southern Ocean can lead to increased water temperatures. In her presentation, Dr. Bowen also explained some key factors causing marine heatwaves and how marine heatwaves have changed in extent and frequency in New Zealand over recent years.

Impacts of marine heatwaves on New Zealand’s kelp forest ecosystems

Dr. Christopher Cornwall, Marine Biologist and Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, discussed how kelp forests will be impacted by climate change in New Zealand. He explained that large brown algae are especially vulnerable to climate change and that mortality in kelp and coralline algae important for reef formation could negatively affect marine biodiversity in New Zealand.

Cyclone Gabrielle's impacts on seabed ecosystems

Dr. Daniel Leduc, Marine Biologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) shared insight into what they are learning about the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on the seabed ecosystems off Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. His presentation covered how methods such as remote sensing, bathymetry, and camera transects are being used to analyse changes to the seafloor, sediments and communities of marine organisms in the East Cape area.

The Ngā Kōrero Webinar Series is made possible thanks to support from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.