Environment and Ecology

Earth’s magnetic field broke down 42,000 years ago and caused massive sudden climate change - Hot off the press

Guest Author Feb 19, 2021

Chris Fogwill, Keele University; Alan Hogg, University of Waikato; Chris Turney, UNSW, and Zoë Thomas, UNSW The world experienced a few centuries of apocalyptic conditions 42,000 years ago, triggered by a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles combined with changes in the Sun’s behaviour. That’s the key finding of our new multidisciplinary study, published in Science. This last major … Read More

The Enduring Mystery of Critchfield’s Spruce - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Feb 17, 2021

Zach St. George The first and only time Steve Jackson spoke to Bill Critchfield was in the late 1980s. Critchfield, an authority on the conifers of North America, was at home recovering from a heart attack. Jackson, then a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University, had called looking for advice on how to tell jack pine from Virginia pine. Jackson … Read More

Plastic in the ocean kills more threatened albatrosses than we thought - Hot off the press

Guest Author Feb 17, 2021

Richelle Butcher, Massey University; Britta Denise Hardesty, CSIRO, and Lauren Roman, CSIRO Plastic in the ocean can be deadly for marine wildlife and seabirds around the globe, but our latest study shows single-use plastics are a bigger threat to endangered albatrosses in the southern hemisphere than we previously thought. You may have heard of the Great Pacific … Read More

Forests and intertemporal equilibrium - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Feb 17, 2021

I’m a bit of an ETS-absolutist. Or at least a carbon-pricing absolutist, in a place the size of NZ. I think the Weitzman reasons for preferring a carbon tax to an ETS are second-order relative to political economy considerations, and any weight at all put on switching costs makes it ludicrous to want NZ to flip from an ETS to … Read More

The mysterious existence of a leafless kauri stump, kept alive by its forest neighbours - Guest Work

Guest Author Feb 16, 2021

Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology and Martin Karl-Friedrich Bader, Auckland University of Technology Plants use their leaves to make food from the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide. With very few exceptions of parasitic plants, no tree is known to grow without green foliage — or to be more precise, no tree can start life without leaves or some … Read More

Under the moonlight: a little light and shade helps larval fish to grow at night - Guest Work

Guest Author Feb 05, 2021

Jeffrey Shima, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Craig W. Osenberg, University of Georgia; Erik Noonburg; Stephen Swearer, University of Melbourne, and Suzanne Alonzo, University of California, Santa Cruz At night on any one of hundreds of coral reefs across the tropical Pacific, larval fish just below the sea surface are gambling on their chances of survival. Our … Read More

Way to go: Electrifying advice from the Climate Change Commission - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Feb 05, 2021

The Climate Change Commission’s draft advice on how to decarbonise New Zealand’s economy is refreshing, particularly as it calls on the government to start phasing out fossil fuels instead of relying on offsets and carbon trading. Until now, New Zealand has relied heavily on its Emissions Trading Scheme, but the evidence is clear that it has failed … Read More

Climate Change Commission calls on New Zealand government to take ‘immediate and decisive action’ to cut emissions - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

James Renwick, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission today released its long-anticipated advice to the government on how to reshape the economy to meet the country’s domestic and international climate change obligations. The document sets out three emissions budgets, covering 15 years to 2035 in five-yearly plans. It also provides advice … Read More

Expect the new normal for NZ’s temperature to get warmer - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Jan 21, 2021

James Renwick, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington It might be summer in New Zealand but we’re in for some wild weather this week with forecasts of heavy wind and rain, and a plunge in temperatures. Long term, though, New Zealand is definitely warming up, along with the rest of the globe. The National Institute of Water … Read More