Australia

Extremes report 2013: NZ drought and record Aussie heat made worse by warming

by Gareth October 1, 2014

The latest climate extremes report finds that 9 out of 16 extreme weather events from last year were influenced by climate change. In particular, the conditions that led to New Zealand’s severe North Island drought — the worst for 41 years, estimated to have cost the economy NZ$1.3 billion — were made more likely by […]

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The Sixth Extinction

by Bryan Walker June 16, 2014

Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is science journalism of a high order. As with her earlier notable book on climate change, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, she includes lively narrative accounts of her visits to places around the world where scientists are at work and communicates the import of their […]

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IPCC WG2 impacts report released: fire, floods and rising seas in all our futures

by Gareth March 31, 2014

After the usual run of late nights and argument, the IPCC has released the second part of its fifth report — the Working Group 2 report on climate impacts and risks management. Commenting on the report, VUW climate scientist Professor Tim Naish said “this latest report makes it quite clear that New Zealand is under-prepared […]

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It’s hot down here: 2013 was the New Zealand region’s 2nd warmest year

by Gareth January 6, 2014

NZ temperature expert Jim Salinger has been crunching last year’s data, and this morning confirmed that 2013 was a hot year in the New Zealand region — the second warmest in the long term record, beaten only by 1998. Based on 22 land stations and the three offshore islands, the annual average temperature was 0.84ºC […]

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Welcome to the Carbon COP

by cindy November 18, 2013

The first week here at the climate talks in Warsaw kicked off with the super typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines in a terrible tragedy, brought into the meeting by the country’s lead negotiator Seb Yano, whose fast has been joined by many from civil society. The plight of his people has been a rallying call […]

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Poland or Coaland? Climate talks about to begin in Warsaw

by cindy November 10, 2013

Another year, another round of climate talks.  It’s the 19th Conference of Parties to the UN Climate Convention and we’re back in Poland, the scene of an almost complete non-event in 2008, the year before Copenhagen. It’s Eastern Europe’s turn to host another meeting, and nobody else was prepared to put their hand up, so […]

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Australia’s burning – again

by Gareth October 22, 2013

Smoke from the bush fires burning in the Blue Mountains blows over Sydney in this NASA Earth Observatory image captured yesterday. The scale of the fires and their impact on the skies over Sydney and much of New South Wales is prompting much discussion in Australia about the link between weather, climate warming and wildfires, […]

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The Climate Show #35: elections, extremes and a big wind

by Gareth September 19, 2013

We’re running a bit late with this one: recorded last week before the big wind left Gareth powerless for six days (a bit like Glenn’s PC), John Cook ruminates on the result of the Australian election, the boys marvel at the Mail’s myth making about Arctic sea ice, and look forward to the release of […]

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Bill English’s weasel words on weather, climate and drought

by Gareth March 14, 2013

Occasionally — but only occasionally — the political pantomime that is parliamentary question time throws up something interesting. Yesterday, NZ’s deputy prime minister Bill English managed to dig himself into a drought-ridden hole, only to emerge looking like a climate denier. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman tried to get English to expand on his earlier […]

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Till your well runs dry: NZ drought hits record levels

by Gareth March 11, 2013

Australia may have had an extraordinary “Angry Summer“, but New Zealand’s been having a bit of a cracker too. Prolonged warm and sunny weather over much of the country has driven North Island soil moisture deficits to levels not seen for at least 70 years (see map at left). Official drought status — which means […]

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