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Climate Change Issues for East Coast of New Zealand – May 15th, 2013

43.7S 172.8E

May 15th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

New Zealand – May 12th, 2013

Climate change models for the East Coast of New Zealand predict less rain and warmer temperatures than at present in the decades to come. The rate of sea level rise, currently running at over 0.2mm per annum, is projected to increase significantly due to thermal expansion and polar ice melts. These incremental changes to our weather and to the marine environment are anticipated to be magnified by periodic extreme events.

The Banks Peninsula Zone (bottom edge) with its extensive coastline and dependence on surface water will most likely be significantly affected by climate change. Whilst overall rainfall is expected to decrease by about 10% it is predicted that there will be a higher occurrence of intense rainfall events resulting in the flooding of low-lying areas, and an increased risk of slips and road closures.

At the other end of the extreme events scale the likelihood of drought is expected to double. This will impact on water supply and primary industry, and increase the risk of fire. Strong winds, predominantly from the West, combined with higher temperatures and low humidity would be likely to exacerbate the fire risk further.

In addition, the predicted sea level rise caused by climate change will impact negatively on the coastal margins of the Zone. Estimates of the rise in mean sea levels vary between 50cm and 80cm by 2090. In this scenario, low lying areas will be affected by erosion and inundation, and at times of high tides and storm surges these incursions will be increased (click here for more information).

Tropical Cyclone Jasmine North of New Zealand – February 11th, 2012

32.5S 175.7E

February 11th, 2012 Category: Image of the day, Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Cyclone Jasmine (10P) - February 10th, 2012

Enhanced image

Track of TC 10P - February 10th, 2012 © Univ. of Wisconsin
Track of TC 10P

Tropical Cyclone Jasmine (10P), located approximately 635 nm west-southwest of Tonga, has tracked east-southeastward at 07 knots over the past six hours. animated infrared satellite imagery shows the system has maintained its overall convective structure and consolidation.

The cyclone remains compact and symmetric around a well-defined 20-nm diameter eye. The initial position is placed with high confidence over the eye feature and the initial intensity is based on a congruent estimate of 77 knots from PGTW and KNES. Upper level analysis indicates the system is bordered to the north and east with ridge axes in a zone of low vertical wind shear (VWS).

TC 10P is expected to continue tracking along the southern periphery of a hyper-extended subtropical ridge (STR). An eventual break in the ridge after TAU 48 will pull the cyclone equatorward into a col area causing a drastic reversal in storm motion. Concurrently, VWS will increase and dissipate the system. The available numerical guidance is in good agreement until the equatorward portion of the track where the model envelope significantly spreads. Maximum significant wave height is 26 feet.

Glacial Lakes Near Southern Alps, New Zealand – December 10th, 2011

44S 170.1E

December 10th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

New Zealand - November 25th, 2011

Three roughly parallel alpine glacial lakes in the Mackenzie Basin of New Zealand’s South Island appear bright hues of blue and green in this image (from left to right): Lake Oahu, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.

All three lakes were created when the terminal moraines of receding glaciers blocked their respective valleys, forming moraine-dammed lakes. The glacial feed to the lakes gives them a distinctive blue colour, created by glacial flour, the extremely finely ground rock particles from the glaciers.

Lake Oahu is fed by the Hopkins and Dobson rivers, which have their headwaters in the Southern Alps. It is the smallest of the three, with a surface area of 60 km².

Lake Pukaki is the largest of the three, covering an area of 178.7 km². The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Tasman River, which has its source in the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, close to Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Lake Tekapo is the second-largest, covering an area of 83 km2. The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Godley River, which has its source in the Southern Alps to the north.

Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora by Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – December 9th, 2011

43.7S 172.4E

December 9th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Lakes

New Zealand - November 25th, 2011

Lake Ellesmere / Te Waihora, tan in color, is located in the Canterbury Region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is actually a broad, shallow lagoon located directly to the west of Banks Peninsula, separated from the Pacific Ocean by a long narrow sandy spit called Kaitorete Spit, or more correctly Kaitorete Barrier.

The Banks Peninsula is a peninsula of volcanic origin on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It has an area of approximately 1,150 square kilometres (440 sq mi) and encompasses two large harbours and many smaller bays and coves. The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is located immediately north of the peninsula.

Contours of the Banks Peninsula, New Zealand – July 10th, 2011

43.5S 172.6E

July 10th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Mountains

New Zealand - July 7th, 2011

Visible on the right side of this orthorectified image is the Banks Peninsula, a peninsula of volcanic origin on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It has an area of approximately 1,150 square kilometres (440 sq mi) and encompasses two large harbours and many smaller bays and coves.

The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch, is located immediately north of the peninsula. It appears here as a large white area. Near the city and west of the peninsula are the Canterbury Plains, formed from the erosion of the Southern Alps and from the alluvial fans created by large braided rivers. These plains reach their widest point where they meet the hilly sub-region of Banks Peninsula.

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