Climate emergency chance to use evidence-based solutions

Olivia Truax
Olivia Truax
Declaring a climate emergency shows New Zealand is committed to evidence-based solutions in the face of the world’s most challenging problems, University of Otago PhD student Olivia Truax says.

Ms Truax, from the university’s geology department, was among a group of Antarctic scientists who supported Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s declaration of a climate emergency this month.

As the New Zealand Government committed the public sector to going carbon-neutral by 2025, Ms Truax and a group of other scientists from Antarctica New Zealand issued a statement saying the declaration was worth celebrating.

"Knowing that we have leaders who value science is inspiring as an early career researcher,” Ms Truax said.

Antarctica New Zealand chief scientific adviser Prof John Cottle, a former Outram resident and University of Otago alumnus, said it was important to continue to support climate-related science, to better understand the rate and magnitude, and likely impacts, of climate changes.

Scientists that formed part of the Antarctica New Zealand statement stressed the urgent need for change.

As countries spend billions to revitalise their economies in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an opportunity to "embrace visionary pathways’’ and quickly transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future, Antarctic science platform director Associate Prof Nancy Bertler said.

Every year dozens of scientists and researchers travel to Antarctica to answer pressing climate change-related questions about ice sheet melt and how it would affect sea-level rise in New Zealand and around the globe, the impact of increased temperatures on biodiversity and species distribution, and the affect a changing Southern Ocean would have on rainfall patterns in New Zealand.

Comments

How ironic, wanting to use evidence based solutions when no empirical evidence for mmcc can be produced.
Keep that nose in the funding trough people!

There was 99% scientific consensus in 2011 that humans are causing global warming and the planet has warmed up even more since then. It seems very unlikely that they are all part of some huge conspiracy just so they can continue get funding!
The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all written by Damian Carrington;
The egomaniacs are tragic figures. They are disappointed, frustrated people whose careers have stalled and who can’t understand why the world refuses to give full reverence to their brilliance. They are desperate for recognition, and, when it stubbornly refuses to arrive, they are drawn to make increasingly extreme pronouncements, in the hope of finally being proved a dogma-busting, 21st-century Galileo.
The ideological fool is the fourth type of climate denier, and they can be intelligent. But they are utterly blinded by their inane, no-limits version of the free-market creed. The climate emergency requires coordinated global action, they observe, and that looks horribly like communism in disguise.

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Most climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95% probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. Paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming. Carbon dioxide from human activity is increasing more than 250 times faster than it did from natural sources after the last Ice Age. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause Earth to warm in response.
In 1896, a seminal paper by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius first predicted that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect.
In 1938, Guy Callendar connected carbon dioxide increases in Earth’s atmosphere to global warming.

 

drivesouth-pow-classic-2.png

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter