New Zealand Ocean Acidification Observing Network

Lara Hansen
Posted on: 9/28/2016 - Updated on: 10/01/2020

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Project Summary

New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research is working to increase their ability to better predict climate change, as well as to create decision-making tools to reduce the vulnerability of New Zealand’s economy and environment to that change. For New Zealand, this means paying particular attention to regional atmosphere-ocean systems. One component is the New Zealand Ocean Acidification Observing Network (NZOA-ON).

NZOA is monitoring waters around New Zealand to establish a “baseline” (a current understanding of ocean pH) and quantify future change. This project considers the implications of atmospheric as well as land-based factors that affect the acidity of coastal waters, as they all have implications for marine organisms. While there are locations in New Zealand that have been monitoring coastal chemistry for many years, this project aims to expand that monitoring to the entire region by creating a network of sites of interest to a diversity of marine users (regional councils, aquaculture, fishing and scientists). It is linked to the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network.

Sites are sampled with partners for alkalinity and total dissolved inorganic carbon, which is used to calculate pH, pCO2, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation state, and data will be posted on an open-access website. There is also a plan to provide education and training to those in regions for which data will be available.

Other projects in the area by NIWA include:

  • Regional modeling
  • Local government guidance
  • Seasonal climate forecasting
  • Argo ocean observing system
  • Climate and Maori society


Hansen, L.J. 2016. New Zealand Ocean Acidification Observing Network. Summary of a project from National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research produced for EcoAdapt’s State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE:… (Last updated August 2016)

Project Contact

Brett Mullan
Andrew Tait
Mike Williams
Darren King
Alan Porteous

Affiliated Organizations

NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, is a Crown Research Institute established in 1992. It operates as a stand-alone company with its own Board of Directors and Executive. NIWA's mission is to conduct leading environmental science to enable the sustainable management of natural resources for New Zealand and the planet.