Antarctic Science Platform’s National Modelling Hub has been officially opened at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

The first of its kind in New Zealand, the Modelling Hub supports scientists to better predict the impact of Antarctic ice melt on our oceans and atmosphere.

The Modelling Hub is a collaboration between the Antarctic Science Platform, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, NIWA and GNS Science, and hosts four research fellows, with a focus on future projections. The fellows will work with researchers across the country, and internationally.

Their work involves using computer simulations and equations to replicate different parts of the earth system, from the climate, the ocean and snow patterns. By creating computer models, scientists can predict what could happen in the future.

Antarctic Science Platform Director, Associate Professor Nancy Bertler says the Antarctic science community feels a strong sense of urgency to meet the challenges of climate change.

“Understanding how the Antarctic ice sheets, ocean and atmosphere interact, how ecosystems will respond and in turn impact global carbon dioxide budgets, and to forecast and quantify impacts for humanity requires international and interdisciplinary cooperation.

“The Modelling Hub is a new approach to bring together some of the brightest minds and leading experts in diverse fields to accelerate progress,” she says.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington Associate Professor, Nick Golledge oversees the Modelling Hub and says it is a great, collaborative space.

“The Hub research fellows, along with modellers throughout the Platform, are addressing key questions around better predicting the future contribution of Antarctic meltwater to sea level rise, changes in ocean uptake of heat and CO2, changes in ocean currents, sea ice extent, nutrient fluxes, ecosystem dynamics and impacts,” he says.

The Modelling Hub has been up and running for ten months, but due to COVID-19 alert level changes the official opening was delayed until last week. Last week also saw the inaugural Antarctic Science Platform conference hosted by Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.