Environment and Ecology

The secret life of puddles: their value to nature is subtle, but hugely important - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 30, 2021

Gregory Moore, The University of Melbourne It’s official: Australians endured the coldest, wettest summer in at least five years thanks to La Niña, a climate phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean. Before we knew it, autumn rolled in bringing more rain. Tragically, it led to widespread flooding across New South Wales, but elsewhere it helped to create more puddles. Read More

Where are all the four-leaf clovers? And what does that have to do with learning to code? - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Mar 30, 2021

By Monica Vallender, Master’s student with AgResearch Invermay and the University of Otago. A few months ago, while home for the Christmas break, my mother – out of the blue – turned to me and asked, “what made you actually decide you wanted to go to university and study science?” Shocked and never thinking that I would someday have to … Read More

Submit! Submit! Submit! - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Mar 25, 2021

Yes, it’s time to submit to the Climate Change Commission on their draft advice to the government, if you haven’t done so already. Submissions close on 28 March 2021.   Rod Carr / Portrait of Leo Tolstoy by Ilya Repin @NZAHParallels pic.twitter.com/enU91wnhVJ — Robert McLachlan (@nzcpe) February 28, 2021 Actually, Tolstoy can … Read More

Turning and turning in the widening gyre - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Mar 24, 2021

I first wrote about New Zealand wind farms in May of 2019 (“A long time between drinks“). At that time, Mercury’s decision to build the Turitea wind farm seemed to me to be extremely significant, but also hard to interpret in terms of the larger scheme of things. Could it be that our low-emission transition was actually going to … Read More

How particles ejected from the Sun affect Earth’s climate - Climate: Explained

Guest Author Mar 24, 2021

  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 When the Sun ejects solar particles into space, how does this affect the Earth and … Read More

Many New Zealand species are already at risk because of predators and habitat loss. Climate change makes things worse - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Mar 24, 2021

Cate Macinnis-Ng, University of Auckland and Angus Mcintosh, University of Canterbury Islands are biodiversity hotspots. They are home to 20% of the world’s plants and animals yet cover only 5% of the global landmass. But island ecosystems are highly vulnerable, threatened by habitat fragmentation and introduced invasive weeds and predators. Climate change adds to all these stresses. In our … Read More

Floods leave a legacy of mental health problems — and disadvantaged people are often hardest hit - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 22, 2021

Sabrina Pit, Western Sydney University Yet again, large swathes of New South Wales are underwater. A week of solid rain has led to floods in the Mid-North Coast, Sydney and the Central Coast, with several areas being evacuated as I write. As a resident of the NSW Far North Coast, which has had its share of devastating floods, many … Read More

Time to make nature studies a compulsory school subject – before it’s too late - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 22, 2021

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton The UK government is reported to be seriously considering making “nature studies” a compulsory subject for all pupils. It’s a move that was recommended in the recent government-commissioned Dasgupta review, a detailed analysis of the “economics of biodiversity”. The review is long and technical, but in among the tables and statistics, there are … Read More

Climate refugee or hardy local? Solving a botanical mystery - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Mar 17, 2021

I’m deep in the middle of the Kā Tiritiri o te Moana Southern Alps with Michael Knapp collecting beech leaves and ripping apart rotting logs on the hunt for giant collembola. Some 17 years later, these precious beech samples would allow Michael and I to answer one of the longest-running debates in New Zealand botany. When Polynesians arrived on … Read More

Ancient leaves preserved under a mile of Greenland’s ice – and lost in a freezer for years – hold lessons about climate change - Hot off the press

Guest Author Mar 17, 2021

Andrew Christ, University of Vermont and Paul Bierman, University of Vermont In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else … Read More