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Expert Reactions

Environment Commissioner’s Zero Carbon Act recommendations – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 7th, 2018.

The new Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has released his first report, containing advice for the Government on how to implement a Zero Carbon Act and establish an independent Climate Commission. The report follows on from his predecessor Dr Jan Wright’s report Stepping Stones to Paris and beyond, released in July 2017. The SMC asked […]

Biofuels could lead NZ to a green transport future – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 26th, 2018.

New Zealand could build a renewable low-carbon transport fuels industry – but only if the nation decides to act, according to a new report from Scion. In 2015, nearly a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions were from combustible fuels, so the report suggests biofuels could have a major impact on overall reduction of […]

A letter to my grandchildren – Jim Salinger

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 26th, 2018.

Prominent climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger has spent much of his career studying climate change – in the NZ Herald, he writes a heartfelt letter to his grandchildren. An excerpt (read in full): I studied climate change before you were born, and about the time Mum and Dad were born, and recognised when they were […]

Sea level rise expected even with Paris Agreement – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 21st, 2018.

Even if all nations manage to stick to their Paris Agreement targets, we’re still committed to sea level rise. A study published today in Nature Communications projects 0.7 to 1.2 metres of global sea level rise by 2300 assuming the Paris targets are met. But for every five-year delay in mitigation after 2020, the researchers […]

Hot summer causing early snow melt – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 31st, 2018.

University of Otago researchers have just returned from one of New Zealand’s largest ice fields – the Gardens of Eden and Allah – which they say are melting quicker than usual due to the hot summer.  The ice field straddles the Southern Alps and feeds into major rivers include the Rakaia and Rangitata in Canterbury […]

Taranaki newspaper highlights climate change – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 12th, 2018.

The Taranaki Daily News has been running a six-part climate change series, called ‘Life of the Edge’, examining what climate change means for Taranaki. Journalist Deena Coster has explored the impacts of climate change on Māori, changes to local landscapes and impacts on human health. Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said New […]

2017 a year of extreme weather – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 8th, 2018.

Niwa has released its annual climate summary for 2017, which it says was a year of weather extremes. While the year started off wet, with the Tasman Tempest and Ex-Tropical Cyclones Debbie and Cook contributing to record amounts of rain, a dry end to the year had parts of the country recording their driest Novembers […]

Warning to plan now for sea level rise – Expert Reaction

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

A report from the Ministry for the Environment has warned that New Zealand lacks a coordinated plan to deal with future climate change, which threatens hundreds of billions of dollars of property and infrastructure. The report, which had been withheld by the previous government, was leaked prior to the September election. Today, Climate Change Minister […]

2017 set to be another scorcher – Expert reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on November 7th, 2017.

2017 is set to be in the top three hottest years on record, with record-breaking extreme weather, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) provisional statement on the state of the climate. Released to coincide with the start of the United Nations climate change conference in Bonn, the statement said 2017 was set to be […]

NZ’s water systems vulnerable to climate change – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on October 27th, 2017.

New Zealand’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure have asset values well over $20 billion, but much of it was not designed to withstand the challenges climate change will bring, from sea level rise to the predicted changes in rainfall frequency and intensity. A new report from the Deep South National Science Challenge and Motu Economic and […]

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