Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Kiwi-developed Antarctic research project unveiled

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A major Kiwi-developed project bringing together the latest Antarctic research has been unveiled to international experts.

The Antarctic Environments Portal, a three-year initiative between Antarctica New Zealand and Landcare Research, was recently presented to the high-level Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Brazil.

The interactive, web-based portal explores major study areas, including the introduction of non-native species, protected areas and climate change, and lists new peer-reviewed research.

It comes at a time of increasing scientific focus on the continent, where in some areas warming is occurring as quickly as anywhere else on the planet.

Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs said the response to the portal's early version had been "extremely positive".

"New Zealand has long been recognised as a strong advocate for Antarctica," he said.

"Working alongside Landcare Research to lead this project combines leadership in Antarctic Environmental Policy with research expertise and open accessibility of scientific knowledge."

Landcare Research chief executive Richard Gordon described the project as a "constructive Kiwi collaboration".

"The portal will make science more accessible to policy-makers," he said.

"That's something needed around the world these days, so we are already seeing wider interest in the product."

Its final version, to be launched at the next Antarctic Treaty meeting in Bulgaria next year, will include areas for science-focussed discussions, and an interactive map allowing users to explore the continent and view geospatial information in four languages.

Take a look at the portal here.

- NZ Herald

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