Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Reflections On Science

Understanding climate risks makes us all less vulnerable – Dave Frame

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 19th, 2017.

Events like floods and droughts are not just figures in Treasury spreadsheets, writes Professor Dave Frame, the risks of them are changing and we need to understand how quickly they’re doing so. An excerpt (read in full): This comparison between the climate as it is today and as it might have been in a world […]

Cyclone Cook and flooding – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 13th, 2017.

A mere week after the tail end of Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the North Island, another cyclone is on its way. The MetService is warning Kiwis that Cyclone Cook could bring heavy rainfall especially to areas already saturated from last week. The SMC gathered expert reaction on the cyclone and flood risk, please feel free […]

Debate over Dunedin sea level rise figures – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 15th, 2017.

Houses in South Dunedin are at risk of sea level rise, but there has been debate over figures suggesting thousands of homes could be affected by 2034. Emeritus Professor Jim Flynn told the Dunedin City Council on Monday that parts of the city could have just 17 years before sea level rise makes them uninhabitable. […]

Why NZ’s glaciers had unusual growth – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 15th, 2017.

An unusual period where some of New Zealand’s glaciers grew bigger, despite a trend of shrinking glaciers worldwide, was due to a series of unusually cold years, according to new research. At least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008, with Franz Josef Glacier advancing almost continuously during this time. It has been […]

In the face of the mind-boggling peril of climate change, feel the despair, then work harder – James Renwick

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 11th, 2017.

With the, somewhat signposted, news that 2016 was the warmest year on record globally, and the warmest in New Zealand since modern records began in 1909, Professor James Renwick writes that we need to channel energy into urgent action. An excerpt (read in full): The past year also saw two milestones: the atmospheric concentration of […]

2016 another scorcher year – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 9th, 2017.

2016 was the hottest year in New Zealand in over a century, surpassing the previous warmest year on record, 1998. Niwa released its annual climate summary today, which showed 2016 was the warmest year on record based on the seven-station series which began in 1909. The full annual climate summary is available on Niwa’s website. […]

Meat the future – Ralph Sims

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 24th, 2016.

By mid-century, it’s estimated the world’s population will exceed 9 billion and they’ll need to be fed, writes Massey University’s Professor Ralph Sims. An excerpt (read in full): Unfortunately, methane emissions from the digestion processes of cattle, sheep and deer and nitrous oxide emissions from animal urine and fertilisers are proving challenging to reduce. We […]

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What might Trump mean for science? – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 10th, 2016.

As the world responds to a Trump presidency – experts are already turning their thoughts to what that could mean for science, especially health and climate change. During his campaign, Donald Trump said he would repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and reinforced his stance as a climate sceptic. The Washington Post reported that the […]

Carbon hide and seek? – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 3rd, 2016.

A new report from the Morgan Foundation says the Government will change forestry accounting rules to meet the 2030 climate change target. The report claims that a covert plan will allow an estimated 79 million tonnes of excess greenhouse gas emissions, equating to near a year’s worth of emissions being wiped off the books. The […]

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No ‘silver bullet’ for agricultural emissions – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 20th, 2016.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright released her latest report on Wednesday, this time turning her attention to the issue of agricultural greenhouse gases. Methane and nitrous oxide – dubbed the biological greenhouse gases – make up about half New Zealand’s total emissions, Dr Wright said. If New Zealand had a chance […]

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