The Changing Climate

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

The ocean is our greatest climate regulator. It must be a stronger part of climate policy and action

Guest Author Nov 30, 2021

Sarah Seabrook, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research; Elisabeth Holland, The University of the South Pacific; Lisa Levin, University of California San Diego, and Natalya Gallo, University of Bergen   The German linguist Heinrich Zimmer once described the ocean as “limitless and immortal … the beginning and end of all things on Earth”. Standing on the shores of any … Read More

Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cycle safely

Guest Author Nov 19, 2021

Timothy Welch, University of Auckland   At the COP26 climate summit, world politicians patted themselves on their backs for coming to a last-minute agreement. Humanity now waits with bated breath to see if countries implement the commitments they made, and if those commitments help the planet. If the rest of our climate progress mirrors the policies around transportation, we’re … Read More

How Māori knowledge could help New Zealanders turn their concern for the environment into action

Guest Author Nov 10, 2021

Scott Burnett, Massey University; Apisalome Movono, Massey University, and Regina Scheyvens, Massey University   As world leaders continue negotiations at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, several agreements reached so far have acknowledged the connection between climate change and the global loss of biodiversity. 📢 UPDATE: Over 130 countries, covering 90% of the world’s forests, have … Read More

NZ’s government plans to switch to a circular economy to cut waste and emissions, but it’s going around in the wrong circles

Guest Author Nov 04, 2021

Hannah Blumhardt, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   The New Zealand government is currently developing plans to address two crises — climate change and waste — and to embrace a circular economy. But it has no clear path for how to do this. The resulting muddle is watering down the potential of a circular economy to bring … Read More

Electrifying transport: why New Zealand can’t rely on battery-powered cars alone

Guest Author Nov 03, 2021

Soheil Mohseni, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Alan Brent, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and James Hinkley, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   The transport sector accounts for 47% of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions. It will be a focus for decarbonisation to meet the country’s new climate pledge to … Read More

Widespread collapse of West Antarctica’s ice sheet is avoidable if we keep global warming below 2℃

Guest Author Oct 19, 2021

Dan Lowry, GNS Science; Mario Krapp, GNS Science, and Nick Golledge, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   Rising seas are already making storm damage more costly, adding to the impact on about 700 million people who live in low-lying coastal areas at risk of flooding. Scientists expect sea-level rise will exacerbate the damage from storm … Read More