The Changing Climate

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

New Zealand summers are getting hotter – and humans aren’t the only ones feeling the effects

Guest Author Jan 12, 2022

Cate Macinnis-Ng, University of Auckland   It’s not a mirage, our summers are getting hotter on average and we are experiencing more extremely hot days. News from NIWA that 2021 was New Zealand’s hottest year on record fits with the long term trend. Analysis of 70 years of data has shown extreme hot days are increasing at a … Read More

Courts around the world have made strong climate rulings – not so in New Zealand

Guest Author Dec 16, 2021

Nathan Cooper, University of Waikato New Zealand made two important climate commitments at the COP26 summit last month — to halve emissions by 2030 and to join the global methane pledge to cut methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. But what happens if these pledges are inadequate for the climate emergency we face? And how can … Read More

Why climate change must stay on the news agenda beyond global summits

Guest Author Dec 10, 2021

Áine Kelly-Costello, University of Gothenburg   During last month’s COP26 summit, climate change was a ubiquitous story. News hooks abounded, from unpacking the flurry of non-binding pledges to reporting on the failure of rich nations to honour demands of countries at the frontline, criticising the summit as the “most exclusionary COP ever”. Even in today’s crowded information landscape, mainstream … Read More