Environment and Ecology

Where in the world will the next epidemic start? - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 27, 2020

Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans throughout history, and will continue to do so. Read More

Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 24, 2020

Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and sea ice begins to grow once more. This point … Read More

Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes - Unsorted

Guest Author Sep 23, 2020

Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful smoke. Wildfires are a natural disturbance for these regions, but when … Read More

Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Sep 23, 2020

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we evolved and since we started settling (Neolithic … Read More

Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable? - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Sep 16, 2020

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? How likely is it that regions along … Read More

Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance - Guest Work

Guest Author Sep 11, 2020

Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close to a mother and her calf. Swim encounters with … Read More

Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Sep 09, 2020

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Methane is a shorter-lived greenhouse gas – why do we average it out over 100 years? By … Read More

Sunspots do affect our weather, a bit, but not as much as other things - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Sep 02, 2020

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Are we headed for a period with lower Solar activity, i.e. sunspots? How long will it last? … Read More