Guest Work

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm shows video games can make us think seriously about climate change

Guest Author Feb 18, 2019

Noam Obermeister, University of Cambridge and Elliot Honeybun-Arnolda, University of East Anglia A new expansion has added environmental challenges to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the latest in a popular series of strategy video games that has been running since the 1990s. The expansion – called Gathering Storm – adds new features to the game, most … Read More

New Caledonian crows smart enough to plan three steps ahead to solve tricky problem

Guest Author Feb 08, 2019

Alex Taylor, University of Auckland My ideas about animal behaviour were turned upside down in 2002 when I watched Betty, a New Caledonian crow, fashion a hook from a piece of wire and use it to pull a small container with meat from a tube. Betty’s behaviour captivated scientists because it seemed so creative: there was no … Read More

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Old bones reveal new evidence about the role of islands in penguin evolution

Guest Author Feb 07, 2019

Theresa Cole; Jonathan Waters, and Kieren Mitchell, University of Adelaide Ever since Charles Darwin’s voyage to the Galapagos, biologists have been trying to figure out what determines the number of species that exist at any point in time. Our research, published this week, provides an answer to this question, at least when it comes to … Read More

Ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica predicted to bring more frequent extreme weather

Guest Author Feb 07, 2019

Nick Golledge, Victoria University of Wellington Last week, rivers froze over in Chicago when it got colder than at the North Pole. At the same time, temperatures hit 47℃ in Adelaide during the peak of a heatwave. Such extreme and unpredictable weather is likely to get worse as ice sheets at both poles continue to melt. Our … Read More

Farmed fish dying, grape harvest weeks early – just some of the effects of last summer’s heatwave in NZ

Guest Author Jan 30, 2019

Jim Salinger, University of Tasmania and James Renwick, Victoria University of Wellington As the Australian heatwave is spilling across the Tasman and pushing up temperatures in New Zealand, we take a look at the conditions that caused a similar event last year and the impacts it had. Last summer’s heatwave gave New Zealand its warmest … Read More

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Coastal seas around New Zealand are heading into a marine heatwave, again

Guest Author Jan 23, 2019

Craig Stevens, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research and Ben Noll, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research As New Zealanders are enjoying their days at the beach, unusually warm ocean temperatures look to be a harbinger of another marine heatwave. Despite the exceptional conditions during last year’s heatwave in the Tasman Sea, this … Read More

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Video games could teach spatial skills lost to a society dependent on devices

Guest Author Jan 22, 2019

Lloyd White, University of Wollongong Video games have long been criticised for encouraging violence and antisocial behaviour. And parents often express concern that they could have detrimental effects on their child’s learning abilities. But research has shown that off-the-shelf video games can also aid learning – particularly when it comes to the development of … Read More