Research Project

Upper ocean observations during storms

Observing upper ocean variability during storms: connecting event scales to climate responses.

Giant wave in the Southern Ocean

The warming of the ocean has a direct impact on the intensity of tropical cyclones. Climate predictions have indicated cyclones will be stronger and wetter as the world continues to warm up. These large-scale weather events can cost up to $40m.

Traditional vessel-based observations are difficult to employ for ocean dynamics during storms as the winds are too strong for sampling. Our research will use autonomous underwater vehicles to determine ocean dynamics before, during and after storms.

This research will use future scenario testing in the New Zealand Earth Systems Model, providing the pathway to connect novel observations to improvements in Deep South models. These situ observations of ocean mixing during storm events will provide more realistic NZESM simulations of the present day – and future projections – for New Zealand.