Significant funding boost for Kiwi Antarctic research programmes

A funding boost for Antarctic research programmes will be vital in helping to understand the impact of climate change on New Zealand and our global partner, an expert says.

On Tuesday, the Antarctic Science Platform announced a $26m funding boost for long-term Antarctic research projects.

Chair of the platform, Gillian Wratt, said it was exciting for the future of Antarctic research and understanding the impact of climate change.

"We are funding world-leading research programmes which will help project sea level rise, predict how the ocean will react to climate change and provide insights that will help make communities around the world more resilient," she said.

Antarctica New Zealand's acting chief scientific advisor Dr Fiona Shanhun said the money was being channelled into several significant projects. They will be led by researchers from universities and organisations from across New Zealand.

"One of them is looking at Antarctic ice dynamics in the past, in the present and in the future. Another is the interactions between the Antarctic atmosphere and the ocean, and the third one is looking at sea ice and the carbon cycle," she told Newshub.

"That certainty of funding means we can plan research programmes which span multiple seasons on the ice and it helps us to better collaborate with our international Antarctic partners to achieve some globally significant outcomes".

The changing environment in Antarctica will not only influence New Zealand but the global community.

"Antarctica and the southern ocean sit at the heart of the global climate system. So what happens there, not only affects us here in New Zealand, but it also affects people around the world".

The funding comes from $49m set aside in Budget 2017.