The Changing Climate

11,000 litres of water to make one litre of milk? New questions about the freshwater impact of NZ dairy farming

Guest Author May 30, 2022

Mike Joy, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Water scarcity and water pollution are increasingly critical global issues. Water scarcity is driven not only by shortages of water, but also by rendering water unusable through pollution. New Zealand is no exception to these trends. Demand for water has rapidly increased, and New Zealand now has … Read More

Don’t believe the backlash – the benefits of NZ investing more in cycling will far outweigh the costs

Guest Author May 26, 2022

Simon Kingham, University of Canterbury   The Dutch have long been recognised as leaders in cycling. Denmark is not far behind, with more bikes than cars in its capital Copenhagen. This is the result of many years of investment. Even the UK, with less of a cycling tradition, is investing and showing growth in cycling. New Zealand is starting … Read More

New Zealand must get over its obsession with big cars and go smaller or electric to cut emissions

Guest Author May 26, 2022

Jen Purdie, University of Otago If your next car is not electric, then it must be much smaller than your last one. Scientists have warned that the world needs to halve emissions every decade to keep global warming less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The government of Aotearoa New Zealand aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to … Read More

Bringing the tūī back to town – how native birds are returning to NZ’s restored urban forests

Guest Author May 11, 2022

Elizabeth Elliot Noe, Lincoln University, New Zealand; Andrew D. Barnes, University of Waikato; Bruce Clarkson, University of Waikato, and John Innes, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research   Urbanisation, and the destruction of habitat it entails, is a major threat to native bird populations. But as our new research shows, restored urban forests can return native birds to our cities … Read More

IPCC report: Coastal cities are sentinels for climate change. It’s where our focus should be as we prepare for inevitable impacts

Guest Author Mar 03, 2022

Bruce Glavovic, Massey University Coastal cities and settlements are on the climate change frontline. They are our first line of defence, facing some of the highest climate risks. But they are also where transformative climate-resilient development can happen. This is one of the key findings in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report on Impacts, … Read More

IPCC report: this decade is critical for adapting to inevitable climate change impacts and rising costs

Guest Author Mar 03, 2022

Judy Lawrence, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland; Anita Wreford, Lincoln University, New Zealand, and Mark John Costello, University of Auckland Climate change impacts in Aotearoa New Zealand are real and future risks are high, according to the latest report released today by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report … Read More

An international treaty to curb plastic pollution risks being watered down — New Zealand needs to take a stand

Guest Author Feb 22, 2022

Trisia Farrelly, Massey University Following years of discussions, support for a global treaty to stem the tide of plastic pollution is now widespread, with 75% of UN member states backing the idea. Next week, countries will negotiate two competing resolutions in the lead-up to the UN Environment Assembly. Both resolutions call for the establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating … Read More

Oceans are better at storing carbon than trees. In a warmer future, ocean carbon sinks could help stabilise our planet

Guest Author Feb 17, 2022

Rupert Sutherland, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Laia Alegret, Universidad de Zaragoza We think of trees and soil as carbon sinks, but the world’s oceans hold far larger carbon stocks and are more effective at storing carbon permanently. In new research published today, we investigate the long-term rate of permanent carbon removal by seashells of … Read More

Exploring Antarctica’s hidden under-ice rivers and their role in future sea-level rise

Guest Author Feb 14, 2022

Huw Joseph Horgan, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Craig Stevens, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Underneath Antarctica’s vast ice sheets there’s a network of rivers and lakes. This is possible because of the insulating blanket of ice above, the flow of heat from within the Earth, and the small amount of heat generated as … Read More

New Zealand is reviewing its outdated conservation laws. Here’s why we must find better ways of getting people on board

Guest Author Feb 11, 2022

Giles Dodson, Massey University Recently, conservation minister Kiritapu Allan described existing legislation as not fit for purpose, and she’s right. The government’s announcement to overhaul conservation policy is welcome news. There are too many outdated, confusing and inconsistent rules. The system they create is out of step with current values and priorities. The way we use and view … Read More