Environment and Ecology

Two months at sea has shown me how little we know of our oceans - Unsorted

Guest Author Mar 12, 2021

Alysha Johnson Before I headed out to sea, I did not know a lot about the ocean to begin with. A geologist and geomorphologist by training, I have always looked at the land and had never spent longer in a ship than the 3-hour Wellington to Picton ferry crossing. But it hasn’t taken me long to realise that compared to … Read More

Scientists used ‘fake news’ to stop predators killing endangered birds — and the result was remarkable - Hot off the press

Guest Author Mar 11, 2021

Peter Banks, University of Sydney and Catherine Price, University of Sydney Animals, including humans, depend on accurate information to navigate the world. But we can easily succumb to deliberate misinformation or “fake news”, fooling us into making a poor choice. The concept of fake news came to the fore during the term of former US president Donald Trump. It … Read More

When climate change and other emergencies threaten where we live, how will we manage our retreat? - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 08, 2021

Christina Hanna, University of Waikato; Bruce Glavovic, Massey University, and Iain White, University of Waikato Despite living in dynamic environments and facing an uncertain future due to climate change, New Zealanders generally expect their land and property rights will endure indefinitely. But little stays the same. As last week’s offshore earthquakes and tsunami alerts reminded us, our coasts and … Read More

Driven to reconnect Māori with te taiao - Mātau Taiao

Rosemary Rangitauira Mar 05, 2021

Mihi mai ki a Jade Rangiwhiua Hyslop whose area of research is river restoration and kaupapa Māori. Passionate about the outdoors, learning and improving the environment in socially-just and innovative ways, she works at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). A budding researcher in its Manaaki Taiao Māori research team, Jade wants to encourage and support tāngata whenua to … Read More

The Biden Administration Increases the Social Cost of Carbon - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 04, 2021

Ramin Skibba To turn the tide against climate change, on the day of his inauguration President Joe Biden signed an executive order instituting a raft of policy changes and initiatives. One directed his team to reassess the social cost of carbon. This seemingly obscure concept puts a number on how much damage a metric ton of carbon … Read More

Blessed are they that have not seen the model, and yet have believed - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 02, 2021

The Climate Change Commission’s recommendations span the breadth of the economy. They are required to come up with sector-by-sector climate budgets consistent with getting New Zealand with net zero emissions under the Zero Carbon Act. The sector-by-sector budgets rest on underlying models. The models build predictions about what will happen as ETS prices rise, and what will happen when some … Read More

Book Review: The Unintended Consequences of Taming Nature - Scibooks

Guest Author Mar 01, 2021

John Schwartz Elizabeth Kolbert lives her stories. In the course of reporting her new book, “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future,” she got hit by a leaping carp near Ottawa, Illinois (“It felt like someone had slammed me in the shin with a Wiffle-ball bat”) and visited tiny endangered pupfish at Devils Hole, a … Read More

For a bigger carbon dividend - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Mar 01, 2021

New Zealand has an excellent Emissions Trading Scheme covering everything except agriculture – a non-trivial exclusion, but we can come back to that later. The ETS has a cap. Net emissions from the covered sector cannot exceed the cap. So any other regulations that affect sectors covered by the cap only shift things around within the cap and affect the … Read More

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