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Briefings:

Unbiased and topical backgrounders and handy reference sheets for journalists covering issues in science and technology.

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BRIEFING: Do-it-yourself climate modelling

Posted in Briefings on March 26th, 2014.

Any Australian and New Zealander with a home computer and an internet connection will soon be able to power up their own climate model. The work will help scientists find the causes of the record high temperatures that hit Australia and New Zealand in 2013. The online climate experiment, Weather@Home, created by a group of […]

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Nuclear expert – Q&A with Prof Robin Grimes

Three years on from Fukushima, questions are still being asked about the long term impacts of radiation contamination for local communities and the wider environment. Public attitudes towards nuclear energy and perceptions of the associated risks have shifted globally, though not always in the same direction. Visiting nuclear energy specialist Prof Robin Grimes, the current UK […]

March 21st, 2014 Read full Story

SMC BRIEFING: Climate impacts and action — The next IPCC releases

What risks from climate change will New Zealand need to confront? What areas are most vulnerable, and what actions will be required? What options are still on the table for limiting greenhouse gas emissions?  The next sections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report (AR5) – the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the world’s vulnerabilities […]

March 12th, 2014 Read full Story

Recent slowdown in warming explained – experts respond

AusSMC: A dramatic increase in the strength of the Pacific trade winds (a pattern of easterly winds spanning the tropics) over the past two decades has caused ocean circulation at the equator to speed up, increasing the transport of heat into the deeper ocean while bringing cooler water to the surface. The extra heat absorbed […]

February 10th, 2014 Read full Story

Top ten science stories of 2013

From the first vat-grown hamburger to the discovery of the world’s largest volcano, scientists pushed back the limits of human knowledge in 2013 and developed technologies that could radically change how we live our lives.  The Science Media Centre, in conjunction with our colleagues at the AusSMC, has assembled the top 10 picks for the […]

December 11th, 2013 Read full Story

$59 million Marsden Fund round revealed

The country’s largest independent research fund has awarded $59 million to a total of 109 research projects that will run over the next three years and span subjects as varied as semiconductors and bioluminescence. The full list of funded projects is available here. They were selected from 1157 representing a 9.4 per cent application success […]

October 29th, 2013 Read full Story

TIN100 maps changes in the high-tech sector

The annual TIN100 report released this week shows New Zealand’s top 100 high-tech companies generated revenue of $7.26 billion last year, an increase of 3.7 per cent, while ICT revenues jumped 16.5 per cent. The ICT segment of the TIN100 and TIN100+ report is the fastest growing of the high-tech segments, with software development, general […]

October 25th, 2013 Read full Story

New Zealand tsunami hazard – the science updated

The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management today released a review of tsunami hazard in New Zealand, the first major update of the science since 2005, and encompassing the whole of New Zealand’s coastline for the first time. Click here to download Review of Tsunami Hazard in New Zealand (2013 Update) The review shows the maximum possible […]

September 30th, 2013 Read full Story

The next global climate report – Get your head around IPCC AR5

Six years on from the last major climate report, the global community of climate scientists are gearing up to release its successor. The first section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s follow-on report (AR5) is due out in Stockholm at the end of this month (27 Sept 8 pm NZT). The IPCC’s working group 1 report […]

September 13th, 2013 Read full Story

GNS Science – update on probability of future earthquakes

A press conference this afternoon held by Wellington City Council and Civil Defence on the earthquakes featured an update from GNS Science seismologist Dr Ken Gledhill. Click on the player below to replay the audio form Dr Gledhill’s update… The key points from the update: - Dr Gledhill downgraded the chance of the area suffering a […]

July 22nd, 2013 Read full Story


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