Category Archives: Lectures

Antarctic Weather – Adventures on the Ross Ice Shelf

Dr Ben Jolly, Landcare Research Ltd

 RSNZ Manawatu Branch February 2017 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 21 February, Palmerston North Central Library, George Street, Palmerston North

 The harsh weather and remote nature of Antarctica creates challenging conditions for collecting in situ observations of any nature; however, meteorological observations pose several unique challenges. My thesis focused on the weather over the Ross Ice Shelf, a large floating mass of permanent ice approximately 4500 km due-south of Palmerston North. To investigate this, I helped to develop a new type of wirelessly networked Antarctic weather station, designed to be deployed in large numbers over a small area to provide weather observations with a high spatial resolution. After two years of testing and preliminary data gathering, we ran a larger campaign that deployed twenty stations over the summer months. I used the observations to investigate local-scale responses to large-scale weather events and evaluate a widely used weather forecasting model. Clouds can have a substantial impact on Antarctic weather and form an important part of the dynamical system. An additional piece of work investigated cloud cover using satellite observations with a ‘reanalysis’ (combined models/observations) dataset providing a connection to the surface conditions observed during our deployments.

All warmly welcome

Science Café: Plastics and the environment

Introduction by Dr Trisia Farrelly, Massey University

RSNZ Manawatu Branch 2016 AGM and November 2016 meeting

7.30 pm Tuesday, 15 November, Palmerston North Public Library, George Street, Palmerston North

There will be one tonne of plastic in the ocean for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastic than fish [by weight].

The average life span of a checkout plastic bag is 12 minutes. Yeah!

We can easily see how a turtle searching for jellyfish can be fooled by a plastic bag and choke on it. But what happens as this macro plastic disintegrates into smaller micro pieces? Are there other insidious effects on the environment that continue for long periods?

More than thirty countries and 170 states (including half of those in Australia) have either banned or placed a levy on single-use plastic bags. But not New Zealand.

Dr Trisia Farrelly, Senior Lecturer in the School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University, will provide the introductory illumination to this Science Café style meeting. Dr Farrelly is a social anthropologist who has researched the socio-cultural factors of waste minimisation and waste management in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. She is co-founder of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council and Palmerston North’s Carrying our Future’s initiative.

Come along and hear Dr Farrelly, enjoy a cup of coffee and a discussion that could change the way you think about the waste you produce.

All warmly welcome

The talk will be proceeded by the RSNZ Manawatu Branch 2016 AGM, starting at 6.30pm with light finger food.