The Changing Climate

The Enduring Mystery of Critchfield’s Spruce

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

As NZ gets serious about climate change, can electricity replace fossil fuels in time?

Guest Author Feb 17, 2021

Jen Purdie, University of Otago As fossil fuels are phased out over the coming decades, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) suggests electricity will take up much of the slack, powering our vehicle fleet and replacing coal and gas in industrial processes. But can the electricity system really provide for this increased load where and when it is needed? The … Read More

Climate Change Commission calls on New Zealand government to take ‘immediate and decisive action’ to cut emissions

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

James Renwick, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission today released its long-anticipated advice to the government on how to reshape the economy to meet the country’s domestic and international climate change obligations. The document sets out three emissions budgets, covering 15 years to 2035 in five-yearly plans. It also provides advice … Read More

Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative .. confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this

Guest Author Jan 13, 2021

Jessica Allen, University of Newcastle Countries around the world are taking steps to tackle climate change and become net-zero emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂) by 2050. Most recently, Joe Biden’s presidential election win means the US is the latest nation to adopt the goal. So what does net-zero mean? Completely eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions? Not necessarily. The … Read More

By declaring a climate emergency Jacinda Ardern needs to inspire hope, not fear

Guest Author Dec 01, 2020

David Hall, Auckland University of Technology; Raven Cretney, University of Waikato, and Sylvia Nissen There is no question that we must act, and act fast, on climate change. This week’s climate emergency declaration by the New Zealand government acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to collectively confront it. But a declaration is not the same … Read More

How climate change made the melting of New Zealand’s glaciers 10 times more likely

Guest Author Aug 04, 2020

Lauren Vargo, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Glaciers around the world are melting — and for the first time, we can now directly attribute annual ice loss to climate change. We analysed two years in which glaciers in New Zealand melted the most in at least four decades: 2011 and 2018. Both years were characterised … Read More