ANZICE Part 5: Policy Interface Matthew Wood Jul 07

The ANZICE program is certainly producing some intriguing results when viewed from a purely scientific perspective. But the serious implications of this research for the future of our environment and society give this work a pertinence beyond just the scientific community. Preliminary results are strongly suggesting that we have no time to lose in making [...]

ANZICE Part 4: Climate Models Matthew Wood Jun 22

Suspended by string from the ceiling of my tween-years bedroom, the wooden skeletons of prehistoric reptiles jostled for space among enamel-coated Harrier jets and Hellcats, sculpted in miniature from cast plastic and balsa. And I wonder why I never had a girlfriend back then? The point is I loved models. I clearly remember being thrilled [...]

ANZICE Part 3: Southern Ocean – New Zealand Responses Matthew Wood Jun 05

New Zealand is a geographically lonely place. It is the only major landmass between the tropics and Antarctica at these longitudes, and shares the southern mid-latitudes with only Patagonia and Tasmania. As such, it is a fantastic natural laboratory for investigating oceanic and atmospheric change in the southern hemisphere. Our country is perpetually being ground [...]

ANZICE Part 2: Antarctic Climate Drivers Matthew Wood May 24

To ask the question, ’How will Antarctica respond to a warmer world?’ is similar to pondering, ’What was the weather like in the United States last century?’ In both cases there are multiple layers of complexity — from persistent regional disparities to variability on a range of timescales — yet this is a question being [...]

ANZICE Part 1: An Overview Matthew Wood May 13

It is ironic that a science initiative called ANZICE should be concerned with investigating times in our geological past when there was relatively little of the cold, slippery stuff around. The Antarctica — New Zealand Interglacial Climate Extremes program, currently underway at the Antarctic Research Centre, is aimed at better understanding the relationships between Antarctica, [...]

Sugar, You Ain’t So Sweet Matthew Wood Apr 26

’Sugar? No problem! Ethanol? No problem!’ the Padre assures his audience. ’It’s the model…’ the model for biofuel production in Brazil that he’s here to denounce. Tiago Thorlby, a Scottish ex-pat priest, belongs to an ecumenical church organisation called Comissão Pastoral da Terra, CPT (The Land Pastoral Commission) and for 25 years has worked with [...]

Two Birds, One Stone Matthew Wood Apr 15

Each year the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington join forces to take 2nd year science students to Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park. The Environmental Studies/Biology 222 paper combines the two complementary disciplines in a single field trip. The course takes [...]

“And ice, mast-high, came floating by…” Matthew Wood Mar 29

Unlike Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, unwillingly blown there by a tyrannous storm-blast, the modern day seafarers aboard the JOIDES Resolution traveled to the Antarctic coast very much on purpose, following many years of preparatory work to identify the best sites to drill and retrieve sediment cores from beneath the sea floor. In early January, after wowing [...]

A Journey to the Ice Matthew Wood Mar 15

My last job before heading overseas in mid-2007 (following months of sedimentary grain size analysis on the then recently collected McMurdo Ice Shelf ANDRILL core) was to put together a short film for the Antarctic Research Centre. As I mentioned in the third episode, the ARC has an annual educational outreach programme aimed at getting [...]

Riders on the Storm Matthew Wood Feb 28

Turns out there are no reservations about hitchhiking in Antarctica. On the Victoria Land coast, microscopic particulate matter, from volcanic ash to sea salt, powdered rock to helicopter exhausts, make a habit of snatching free rides on the winds of Ross Sea cyclonic systems or on the gravity-driven katabatic gales that flow off the ice [...]

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