Long-Term Science

Antarctica New Zealand supports a number of long-term monitoring programmes that enable changes in the atmospheric, physical and biological environments to be detected and monitored. The data are of national importance and global significance, with some records beginning in the early to mid-1900s.

Long-term Science

Since 1911: Magnetic Measurements

K102 GNS Science - Te Pū Ao

The Earth’s geomagnetic field is created by the movement of liquids within the Earth’s core. The field extends from the core into space, and is constantly changing. The geomagnetic field has been continuously monitored by specialised equipment at Scott Base since 1958! Every five years, scientists also visit sites at Cape Evans and Lake Vanda to conduct magnetic surveys. Information collected during these surveys increases the accuracy and spatial coverage of the geomagnetic record. Measurements were first made at Cape Evans in 1911, and at Lake Vanda in 1974. Data are made available to scientists around the world in near-real time via the International Real-time Magnetic Observatory Network (INTERMAGNET). These precise ground measurements of the geomagnetic field are important for ground-truthing satellite measurements, which are used to create global magnetic maps. The maps are needed for a wide range of practical applications such as oil and mineral exploration, ozone hole prediction, space weather monitoring, aircraft, ship and submarine navigation and orientation information on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Magnetic Data: https://www.intermagnet.org/data-donnee/download-eng.php

GitHub Gist: GNS Magnetic Instrument (github.com)

K102 1995 Tim Higham

Photo: Tim Higham, 1995/96

Since 1957: Climate measurements

K089 NIWA - Taihoro Nukurangi

Daily weather recordings have been made at Scott Base since 1957, providing one of the longest climate records in Antarctica. The addition of automated stations recording further parameters have added to this invaluable database The stations collect daily air temperature, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure and solar radiation data. Together these data are key to characterising and identifying changes to local and global climate, analysing long term climate trends, as well as assisting with operational decisions. The stations at Scott Base and Arrival Heights are part of a wider network of 47 climate stations operated by NIWA in the New Zealand region. Personnel visit Antarctica each year to complete station inspection and field calibration, data verification and sensor exchange.

Climate Data: The National Climate Database, Antarctica NZ website, Weather Underground

Reading temperatures Scott Base Stephen Robbins 2005

Photo: Reading temperatures Scott Base, Stephen Robbins, 2005

Photo: Reading temperatures Scott Base, Stephen Robbins, 2005