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BRIEFING: The Kiwi’s ‘bizzare’ closest relative

Posted in Briefings on May 23rd, 2014.

A new study has found that Kiwi’s closest relative is the now extinct 2.3 meter tall elephant bird from Madagascar. The research from the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), has solved a 150-year-old evolutionary mystery about the origins of the giant flightless “ratite” birds, such as the emu and ostrich, which […]

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BRIEFING: Do-it-yourself climate modelling

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 […]

March 26th, 2014 Read full Story

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

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

Viagra trial in pregnant women may save underweight babies

Growth restriction in utero is a potentially serious pregnancy complication with no current treatment options. Around the world, researchers are working to find ways to help give pregnant women faced with dire prognoses about their baby’s growth and life expectancy a better chance at a positive outcome. New Zealand researchers are at the forefront of […]

July 11th, 2013 Read full Story

Climate answers buried in Antarctica

Many of the remaining great unknowns about climate change lie buried within Antarctica’s ice. At the Strategic Science in Antarctica conference held in Hobart this week , the Australian Science Media Centre held an online media briefing with key speakers on some of the climate uncertainties relating to the icy continent. If the entire Antarctic […]

June 24th, 2013 Read full Story

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