Environment and Ecology

Newspaper warns of human-induced climate change in 1912 - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Aug 17, 2018

We’ve had more than 100 years of warnings of human-induced climate change now. It’s nearer 200 years, really. Before records were taken they would be extrapolations rather than observations. Extrapolations are harder for those outside of science to trust, but extrapolations are part of what science does. Looking to where things might go is useful. This pithy, insightful newspaper article … Read More

Understanding and Improving the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 14, 2018

Catherine Leining, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research To chart a successful future for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), we need to understand its present and its past. Researchers from Motu Economic and Public Policy Research have published a new Guide to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. This guide covers the basics of how … Read More

USA Court ruling on glyphosate— the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Aug 13, 2018

A lot has been said about a recent court case ruling about Monsanto’s Roundup. Let’s look just at the role of IARC and Eugenie Sage’s call for the New Zealand Environment Protection Agency (NZ EPA) review their stance on Roundup. The role IARC seems to be very little understood. Many media reports (worldwide) on this court case offer a throw-away … Read More

Bag Ban: read the appendix - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Aug 13, 2018

The Ministry for the Environment’s consultation document on banning plastic bags is out. The key table, or at least the most interesting table, is in the appendix. It shows, from a Danish study, the number of times a reusable shopping bag would have to be reused to have less environmental impact than current disposable bags. Source: Ministry for … Read More

Antarctic seas host a surprising mix of lifeforms – and now we can map them - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 06, 2018

Jan Jansen, University of Tasmania; Craig Johnson, University of Tasmania, and Nicole Hill, University of Tasmania What sort of life do you associate with Antarctica? Penguins? Seals? Whales? Actually, life in Antarctic waters is much broader than this, and surprisingly diverse. Hidden under the cover of sea-ice for most of the year, and … Read More

Net-zero carbon emissions: a “massive economic boost”? - The Dismal Science

Michael Reddell Aug 06, 2018

James Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party and Minister for Climate Change (surely Minister against it?), tells us he is working his way through 15000 submissions on the recent climate change consultation document.  I’ve done a couple of posts here on the document, and on the NZIER modelling used extensively in it, and I’ve chided both the Minister … Read More

Why compostable plastics may be no better for the environment - Guest Work

Guest Author Aug 03, 2018

Thomas Neitzert, Auckland University of Technology As companies move to get rid of single-use plastic bags and bans on microbeads are coming into force, new biodegradable or compostable plastic products seem to offer an alternative. But they may be no better for the environment. Recently, European scientists argued that existing international industry standards are insufficient and … Read More

In Australia’s Snowy Mountains, a Battle Over Brumbies - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 31, 2018

Bianca Nogrady Experts are calling for a substantial cull of the wild horses living in New South Wales’ Kosciuszko National Park. The government isn’t having it. The peatlands that drape the high, treeless slopes surrounding Australia’s tallest peak form a natural archive. “They are unusual bits of landscape in that they actually record their own history,” says Geoffrey … Read More

Critically endangered but not lost: the fight to save Te Papa’s collections from extinction - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Jul 23, 2018

In an unassuming building at the top of Tory Street in Wellington lies buried treasure: the remains of a lost world that rivals Smaug’s hoard, but the equivalent of the five armies is closing in. The proposed restructure of our national museum means we are in danger of losing the key to unlocking the secrets these biological taonga hold. Read More

Plastic poses biggest threat to seabirds in New Zealand waters, where more breed than elsewhere - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 19, 2018

Stephanie B. Borrelle, Auckland University of Technology Plastic pollution has the potential to cause the worst damage to seabirds in the seas around Aotearoa New Zealand, where many of them come to feed and breed. Aotearoa boasts the greatest diversity of seabirds in the world. Of the 360 global seabird species, 86 breed here and 37 are … Read More