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Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, April 13th, 2018 - 35 comments
Categories: Environment, global warming, science - Tags: , ,

Speaking for myself…when I try to think of Antarctica, then besides all those beautiful images I’ve seen, and besides having no real idea what minus a hell of a lot feels like, all I have is words like “vast” – or “forever”. And that’s about it. In other words, I can’t grasp it – I can’t comprehend the scale of the place.

So when I hear that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting, all I can conjure up is images of what might constitute “melting” (pools of water, calving events)…and then blank.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet covers an area of just under 2 million square kilometres? – blank.

The thickness of the ice covering Western Antarctic is up to 2000m or 2 km thick? – kinda blank.

When the West Antarctic Ice Sheet disintegrates it will raise sea levels by about 3m….now, that I can kind of envisage, at least in terms of my locality.

In an attempt to get some kind of conceptual grasp of what we’re referring to when we talk of Antarctica, I tried to think of something I might at least partially “get” that I could sit alongside it in terms of scale.

So I did a quick search to see what land area is covered by cities, thinking that might give me some vaguely graspable reference point. I mean, we’ve all seen the aerial views of New York, and many of us have traveled through endless kms of conurbation, right?

So anyway, the land area covered by all of the worlds urban development is about 3.5 million square km. That’s according to a study done by Columbia University that some are saying is a huge over-estimate in terms of area.

Regardless. If I take every single urban experience I’ve had, be it London, Paris, New York or Auckland, and I add beside that, Shanghai, Mumbai, Tokyo, Buenos Aires…then when I’ve finished tallying up all the endless horizons of concrete and steel, (images provided) I can fit the whole damned lot on to West Antarctic and Greenland (the other major source of sea level rise) and still have half a million square km of ice left over.

That’s ‘everything built’ by humanity fitting onto the surface area of ice that’s currently melting.

I can get that conceptually. Sort of. All of that ice melting is like all of our cities dissolving (or some such). Except, not quite. We need to do something with  what this mega city comprised of concentrating all the world’s cities/built up areas into one place looks like.

The ice on Antarctica (Western) is up to 2km thick. (Greenland ice is between 2km and 3 km thick) The Twin Towers were just over 500m tall. So take every piece of built up area (the suburb you live in – Everything) and imagine there is nothing except Twin Tower after Twin Tower after Twin Tower – and then multiply the height x2…or x3 to get some rough approximation of the volume of ice we’re talking about.

Now compromise the foundations of all those exaggerated “Twin Towers”. They’ll stay standing…for now. But their collapse isn’t a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. That’s essentially the state of affairs for the Western Antarctic under current climatic conditions.

The IPCC and all government reports on sea level rise acknowledge that ice melt from Western Antarctica has not been taken into account when they say there might be a 1m rise in sea levels this century. That’s about 3m of additional sea level rise that’s been waved off to the side.

And here’s the fun bit.

Whereas it has been suggested that such a colossal amount of ice would take thousands of years to melt down (as though we were talking of some big ice cube just melting off into the ground), when researchers take processes like “ice cliff failure” (max possible height for an ice cliff being about 100m) and hydro-facturing – (think water and crevasses) – and factor them into modeling, then the collapse of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet occurs over decades, not centuries, and certainly not thousands of years.

And we know the fuse has been lit.  Exactly like having  compromised the foundations of the buildings in our imaginary city, the only thing we don’t know (and probably can’t ever know in advance) is when the collapse will begin

If you’re reading this and thinking that scientists have just modeled for a worst case scenario, and so have exaggerated some processes to get a nice OMG! result, you’d be wrong. What they have done is made the models emulate the known conditions from the last time the world’s atmosphere contained this much CO2 – three to five million years ago during the Pliocene when temperatures were around 2 – 3 degrees C warmer and sea levels about +25m higher.

By the way, there was no irony intended when I suggested  looking at expected ice melt in terms of all of the worlds cities falling over. But it’s there,  given that the foundation (however defined) for many of those cities will be knocked out by rising sea level.

35 comments on “Ice ”

  1. james 1

    A website I found that is really interesting helps with the idea of size.

    Antarctica is big – but not as huge as maps would have us believe.


    The site is a lot of fun to play around with.

    • Matthew Whitehead 1.1

      Depends which maps you’re using. Mercator makes it look giant. Actual globes give you both its real shape and size, but there are also other 2d projections that don’t glom Antarctica into a big mass in order to preserve straight latitude and longitude lines at the same time. (that is to say, the traditional map you’re thinking of that that site uses is made for sailing)

      It’s bigger in current area than Australia and New Zealand put together, although might not be post-melt?

    • cleangreen 1.2

      That’s right James;

      Just make fun of the true seriousness of the catastrophe we are facing as you appear to be yet another dumb climate change denier.

  2. johnm 2

    Rignot says the WAIS will totally collapse and melt. View youtube for his stuff.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Antarctica is far more beautiful than people realise.

    Loyd Homer (GNS photographer) did these amazing shots about 20+ years ago. I’m telling you it looked like National Geographic stuff. Haven’t seen them since.

    Would be nice to see some before and after shots if only to wake everyone up.

  4. JohnSelway 4

    Thank god! I saw the image and thought, “The twin towers? Please don’t be about 9/11”!

  5. timeforacupoftea 5

    Thanks Bill that information relieves my conscious somewhat.

    ( The thickness of the ice covering Western Antarctic is up to 2000m or 2 km thick ).

    Here I was thinking for the last 10 years catastrophe coming !
    Cripes ! that ice is 2000 meters thick. ( Thinking thats not going to melt )

    It would take Genzebe Dibaba to run the women world record for 2000m : 5:23.75 , 2/7/2017

    Here I thought it can’t be many years now and we will have a loverly beach 100 meters from home.
    My home’s altitude is 50 meters.

    But thats not going to happen.
    So I am over climate change, our climate here in Dunedin has nearly changed every year that I have been alive 1950.

    I must go fill my carbon burning beast and drive many kilometres before the Gov’t stops importing oil products.
    Meantime I will enjoy life and leave it to my 30 odd year generations later down the track deal with it.
    I am sure they will be well educated and free from fees etc to do that.

    • Bill 5.1


      I really wish people would read and comprehend before commenting.

      If an ice cliff cannot be higher than 100m before losing its physical integrity, what do you think happens when the edge of the ice is being asked to soar 1km into the air, or 2 km into the air, or even 300m into the air?

      You think it melts?!

      It collapses. And the geology of WAIS sits below water.

      What amount of water gets displaced by floating ice, and what difference does it make whether that floating ice melts or not?

      • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.1

        Also, in addition to water displacement as more of the ice moves into the water, post-collapse it will have absolutely increased the exposed surface area of the ice, which combined with temperature, (we’ve already sorted that increasing for both air and water with global warming) is what determines melt speed, (and collapsed ice WILL melt so long as there’s a reasonable chance it moves northward) so it will lead to a sharp initial rise in sea levels that Bill notes, plus a slower rise (but still faster than models that hadn’t factored in collapse) as the melting accelerates from more of the ice touching warmer air or water instead of other ice.

        As Bill notes in the post, this isn’t catastrophizing, it’s models being refined to better reflect real-world physics.

        • Bill

          The air temperature in Antarctica, unlike in the Arctic, isn’t really increasing – the libido effect of the continent is intact.

          Antarctica (West Antarctica) is being “taken out” from below by warmer ocean temperatures, not warmer air temperatures.

          And since the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is grounded well below the water line, and because the ground slopes down and back away from where the ice is presently resting on bed rock, it means that processes of disintegration won’t stop and worse, will accelerate.

          edit – I just found it useful to conceptualise the collapse in terms of everything that we have currently built (and then some), falling down. It makes more sense to me than talking of gigatonnes and what not.

          • Macro

            The mean annual air temperature of the Antarctic Peninsula has increased by nearly 3°C in the region in the last 50 years, (about 10 times faster than the average for the rest of the world) the only comparable regions are in the Arctic. The temperature of the rest of Antarctica shows indications of rising at a slower rate.
            The surface of the ice sheet at the South Pole is more than 9,000 feet in elevation–more than a mile and a half above sea level. The warmest temperature recorded at the South Pole (which is not the coldest place on Earth) was −12.3 °C on Christmas day 2011. The coldest temperature recorded on Earth was −89.2 °C at Vostok Station in July 1983.

            I think you mean “albedo” effect.

            I’m not sure about the sexual status of the polar regions.

            • Greg #56

              “the libido effect of the continent is intact.” Gives new meaning to the saying, hard as ice! And it appears that on this day, Friday the 13th April, we’ve just shattered the ‘coldest temperature recorded on Earth’ as Dome Fuji / Valkyrie sunk to -96˚C (just checked again now and it’s ‘warmed up’ to only -92C but hey, it’s still a record and it’s only autumn…).


              Australia’s BoM was recording -55˚C at B*mbala in NSW today too (so I don’t set-off trigger warnings, replace the *asterisk* with an ‘o’). Either automated weather stations have gone wonky en masse or it’s freakin’ cold out there! And don’t mention the hundreds of live volcanoes simmering and oozing and bubbling away under both the West Antarctic Ice Shelf (sea ice) and Sheet (land ice).

              Keep the home fires burnin’ – she be mighty chilly out thar tonight.

              • Macro

                With Global Warming (ie Increasing energy being trapped in the troposphere due to increasing GHG’s) we should expect widely varying changes in weather – such as we have just witnessed in NZ). As sea temperatures rise and fall, pressure zones and depressions increase in intensity, with higher winds, Higher air temperatures in warmer climates also means the air holds more water vapour to be transported to colder regions – such as Antarctica – to be dropped as snow. As you see – even though the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by 3°C it is still below freezing. So the warm, moisture filled winds, blowing south from the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans will increase the snow burden on the Continent.

                Imagine a pot of cold water on a stove. As you turn on the element and add energy to the water, the water doesn’t heat up uniformly – convection currents swirl around, making some parts cooler, some parts warmer than others. Essentially our planet is going through the same process.

            • Bill

              I think you mean “albedo” effect.


    • cleangreen 5.2

      timeforacupoftea —Warning!!!!! another climate change denier and supporter of big oil????

  6. koreropono 6

    This is a great reminder that it is OUR responsibility to do what we can to minimise the catastrophe that’s coming, instead thinking it’s not our problem and leaving it to our offspring to deal with it, shame!

  7. pat 7

    I read an article some 3 or 4 years ago where a couple of scientists had evidence that led them to conclude the west antarctic ice sheet had collapsed in a matter of months last time…..despite extensive searching I have been unable to refind the article but clearly recall the impression it made.

  8. Viscount 8

    “So when I hear that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting…”

    Source please.

    Personally I’m finding more and more scientific studies and accounts concluding the opposite, i.e. that they’re in fact finding MORE ice developing on existing shelves and that it’s been cooling over the last century.

    ““The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer.”
    – Turner, et al. (2016) https://www.nature.com/articles/nature18645

    “(a) there has been no overall warming trend for large portions of the continent in the past few hundred years, (b) the Southern Ocean has been cooling since 1979, and that (c), because of the cooling ocean, sea ice extent has been advancing.”
    – Jones et al. (2016) https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3103

    “(1) Temperatures over the Antarctic continent show an overall cooling trend during the period from 0 to 1900 CE, which appears strongest in West Antarctica, and (2) no continent-scale warming of Antarctic temperature is evident in the last century.”
    – Stenni et al. (2017) https://www.clim-past-discuss.net/cp-2017-40/cp-2017-40.pdf

    “During 2003 to 2008, the mass gain of the Antarctic ice sheet from snow accumulation exceeded the mass loss from ice discharge by 49 Gtlyr (2.5% of input), as derived from ICESat laser measurements of elevation change. ”
    – Zwally, et al. (2012) https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120013495.pdf + https://vimeo.com/46429608

    “The undersides of ice shelves are usually smooth due to gradual melting. But as the camera passed through the bottom of the hole, it showed the underside of the ice adorned with a glittering layer of flat ice crystals—like a jumble of snowflakes—evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it. ‘It blew our minds,’ says Christina Hulbe, a glaciologist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, who co-led the expedition.”

    • Bill 8.1

      You want a source? Seriously!?

      How’s about you simply read the linked paper from the post, or alternatively, look up any other damned peer reviewed scientific paper on the matter?

      And while you’re at it, educate yourself on the difference between an ice shelf and an ice sheet. (Hint: one sits on water, while the other is grounded)

  9. cleangreen 9

    Today this is our submission to the ‘Climate change panel’ chair after their release today of the ‘Climate Change Minister James Shaw’ says he’s been impressed by the enthusiasm and leadership shown by the financial and business sector at the launch of a new “Climate Finance Landscape Report” in Auckland.
    “The transition to a net zero emissions economy brings huge opportunities and the finance sector has a significant role to play making it happen.

    Protecting our environment & health.
    In association with other Community Groups, NHTCF and all Government Agencies since 2001.
    Public COMMUNITY submission to;

    Hon; James Shaw. – Climate Change Minister.

    13th April 2018.

    Dear James;


    • Our NGO has a long history of standing up for the Environment equal to anyone else and seen three Government changes since.

    • WE SENT OUR SUBMISSION IN 2001 TO THE ‘THEN MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE’ AND IS NOW AGAIN OUR SUBMISSION TO THE NEW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE Hon’ James Shaw at his “launch of a newClimate Finance Landscape Report in Auckland. (See our submission below as then in 2001 was addressed to Martin Harvey, Deputy Director 7th November 2001 NZ Climate Change Program)

    • Please use Kiwirail in place of Tranzrail in our new submission please as the direction has been the same lack of quote; taking any action on “economic opportunities arising from taking action on climate change.”

    Thank you for your attention.
    We anticipate your response.


    Financing climate action
    Friday, 13 April 2018, 11:11 am
    Press Release: New Zealand Government
    Minister for Climate Change
    13 April 2018
    Key financial, business and environmental leaders meet to talk financing climate action
    Key leaders from the finance, business, environment, church, government and academic communities met today to discuss economic opportunities arising from taking action on climate change.
    Climate Change Minister James Shaw says he’s been impressed by the enthusiasm and leadership shown by the financial and business sector at the launch of a newClimate Finance Landscape Report in Auckland.
    “The transition to a net zero emissions economy brings huge opportunities and the finance sector has a significant role to play making it happen.
    “The Government is already working on several of the report’s recommendations, including establishing a Green Investment Fund, fixing the Emissions Trading Scheme to provide effective carbon pricing, and I have asked officials to look at options for disclosure and reporting of climate-related financial risks,” says James Shaw.
    “New Zealand has committed to making sure finance flows go towards low emissions and climate resilient development as part of the Paris Agreement,” says Mr Shaw.
    A report by economic research collective, Mōhio, commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment, confirms there are multiple opportunities for financial institutions and companies to take action to lower emissions – and many are already leading the way.
    “Many businesses and investors can see that climate action and green activities are not only good for business – but are a crucial part of New Zealand achieving a low emissions, climate resilient future, while also reducing risks to the financial sector.
    “Financing the clean economy is crucial to ensuring a just transition that creates jobs in new industries.
    “Roughly two thirds of all climate finance globally comes from the private sector, so there is heavy reliance on them to take action.
    “Climate finance activities are underway, progress is being made, but this is just the start of a long journey and we need to do more. We need to build on existing leadership and momentum.”
    © Scoop Media

    P.O. Box Napier

    Martin Harvey, Deputy Director 7th November 2001
    NZ Climate Change Program


    Local Councils face a major task of lowering the adverse effects of heavy truck noise and pollution all over Napier; trucks are now operating through Napier 24 hours a day, which is creating stress and adverse health effects to residents.

    The answer lies in rail. The re-establishment of rail freight through Napier to the port and other regions would heavily reduce this massive overuse of heavy trucks to move our region’s exports and imports. We obtained LTSA records which confirm our worst fears that during the 1990s there was a large increase of freight trucks on our roads while rail freight declined, as a result of road transport deregulation. It is well proven that when more roads are built, the traffic increases in proportion. We believe a new transport strategy needs to be developed, both by local and government authorities, that reflect a commitment to support more rail freight rather than road freight alone.

    We received the following attached information that Tranzrail is now beginning to dramatically reduce it’s freight wagon fleet that they perceive as no longer part of their core business, and that they are sending 100s of wagons to the scrap yard to be scrapped, including log hauling wagons, flat deck container wagons, fertilizer, fuel, tallow and resin tankers, and much more. We called Sims Pacific Metals at (09) 276 1809 and it was confirmed to us that they have already recently destroyed 100 of the first 300 wagons Tranzrail has sent them on contract to destroy. It seems that this present ‘get rid of’ mentality is more business ideology driven than based on sound engineering principles. Deliberate wrecking of rail infrastructure that is part of essential services could destabilize this country if another fuel crisis or economic recession occurs.

    According to UK reports, pollution from road transport networks is very damaging to the environment and to human health. Transporting one tonne a distance of one kilometre by road produces fumes totalling 72g of carbon dioxide as opposed to 7.5g for rail, and 0.1 particles as opposed to 0.01g for rail. In simple terms, trucks pollute 10 times more than trains. The report also confirms that a large truck causes 100,000 times more damage to roads than a car, and the cost of road maintenance is unfairly paid by car operators, not truck operators.

    Tranzrail’s ominous new direction is a matter of great concern, that valuable rolling stock is being destroyed when they should be retained by us for future freight handling by rail. Tranzrail is now the largest trucking company in New Zealand, and must be required to return its freight back to its rail system that it bought for that purpose in the first place, with some form of incentive from government for the benefit of the environment.

    Investment in the rail will pay in the long term, and if the economic reason to do so is not obvious to us now, we must do it for the environment, to help the planet, to reduce the carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gasses. Lateral thinking is what is needed now. Simply, if we are to seriously concern ourselves with the long term effects of climate change, we must start now reducing our dependency on heavy truck freight hauling and return to the more environmentally friendly rail freight system, as most of our trading partners are doing.

    CEAC Inc has researched the rail issue and has extensive information to share. We look forward to presenting our views in the future, when local and central government are working on transport strategies, to which we would like to be involved. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Yours truly,


    • mikes 9.1

      “According to UK reports, pollution from road transport networks is very damaging to the environment and to human health…”

      I remember an article or may have even been a video about the contents of wheel dust collected from the sides of main highways. From memory it has hundreds of different things in it ranging from dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals and substances, to precious metals like gold and platinum as well as very rare minerals and metals and other sciencey sounding things…hehe you know what I mean, stuff stuff..lol

      • cleangreen 9.1.1

        Yes Mikes,

        Several documents are out now about the dangers of tyre dust to humans.

        The Guardian article is vividly expressive for one;
        Or this ;





        Motoring Pollutionwatch
        “The polluting effect of wear and tear in brakes and tyres”

        Some wear-particles from brakes and tyres are small enough to be inhaled, and the increase in wear-particles can outweigh the benefits of improvements in exhaust emissions

        Gary Fuller @drgaryfuller
        Sun 11 Sep 2016 21.30 BST Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 16.36 GMT

        The harder the braking, the more particles fly – a driver brakes during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix on 4 September, 2016.

        One in six MOT failures is due to brake or tyre problems. These wear as we drive, as does the surface of roads. Most of the wear material ends up as dust at the kerb or gets washed into drains but some wear-particles are small enough to be inhaled, and contribute to our air pollution. These particles are rich in transition metals which add to the toxicity of our urban air.

        Increasing amounts of wear-particles have been found in new research from King’s College London. Scientists tracked air pollution alongside 65 roads for ten years. The researchers found some roads where the air pollution benefits from improvements in diesel exhausts were outweighed by increases in particles that come from the wear of tyres, brakes and the road. This was mainly on outer London roads that had increasing numbers of heavy good vehicles.

        Calls for a new clean air act in the UK

        Accessories such as electric windows and air conditioning mean that new cars can be heavier than the ones that they replace . This means more brake and tyre wear. Brake systems on cars, vans and lorries have also changed. Since disc brakes have been gradually replacing drum systems, but open discs emit more inhalable air pollution than drum brakes, where the wear-particles are mostly sealed in.

        There are no policies to control these emissions. Stopping from 30mph emits around twice the amount of brake particles compared with stopping from 20mph, so lower urban speed limits could help, as could reducing traffic volumes – especially by better management of goods moved by road.

  10. mikes 10

    In reality Antarctica is about the size of Australia. Which is still fuckin big, but not massively amazingly enormous..

    It seems a Kiwi research team have recently discovered west Antarctica ice sheet is actually freezing underwater so no immediate worry about catastrophic sea level rise from melting ice?.. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/ross-ice-shelf-bore-antarctica-freezing/

    Nasa says that areas of ice are melting at an accelerated rate due to underwater thermal volcanic activity. At least humankind’s CO2 emissions aren’t to blame this time round..? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/antarctica-nasa-mantle-plume-arctic-melting-warm-bedrock-study-latest-a8046661.html

    Is East Antarctica gaining in size?.. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/01/03/large-antarctic-snowfall-increases-could-counter-sea-level-rise-scientists-say/?utm_term=.c2458bd3dbbb

    • Bill 10.1

      1. What makes you think an ice shelf (growing or shrinking) makes any difference whatsoever to sea levels?

      2. What has that link got to do with retreating ground lines?

      3. Where in the post is there any mention of East Antarctica? And what possible effect could any “balance” of gain and loss in East Antarctica have on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

      And an additional – what makes you think that what can be observed on the surface gives any indication whatsoever of what is happening hundreds of metres beneath the ocean’s surface?

      • mikes 10.1.1

        Whoa… defensive much?

        1. I was just reading what the experts were saying in the articles. They were just the first few links that popped up in a search about antarctic ice melting.. I dunno as don’t take much interest in the subject, but would imagine that if massive ice shelves which are currently supported by rock (the ground) break off and / or melt into the ocean they would cause some sort of sea level rise?

        2. Fucked if I know, I was just posting some articles about Antarctica and it’s current state which I found interesting, especially with Kiwi scientists out in the wickedly hard core environment doing their science thing. Those guys are the real deal!

        3. See 2.

        The additional – Hey, I have an answer for that one! The Kiwi research team drilled through 1km of ice and were taking readings from under the ice sheet.. so there!

        Aww just figured it… you’re pissed coz it turns out Antarctica’s not that massive aye? All good, it’s still the highest, coldest, windiest and for many months the darkest place on the planet! See, I never would have learned this stuff If you hadn’t posted your article, now I might even endeavor to learn a bit more as it’s quite a freaky place really…

        • McFlock

          Read the natgeo article again. They were drilling under the Ross ice shelf.

          The ice shelf is important because:

          The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is up to 10,000 feet thick in some places. It sits in a broad, low bowl that dips thousands of feet below sea level—making it vulnerable to deep, warm ocean currents that are already nipping at its outer edges. It is stabilized, at least for the time being, by a phalanx of floating ice shelves, that hang off its outer edges—of which the Ross Ice Shelf is by far the largest. Those floating shelves provide a buttress; they “are holding back a very big amount of ice,” says Craig Stevens, an oceanographer from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, who participated in the expedition.

          Funny thing about those volcanos, too. One theory suggests that the weight of the ice sheet is suppressing some of the volcanic activity. If that weight lessens, the activity increases, and more of the ice sheet melts.

          So the worry is that the loss of buttressing ice shelves causes a feedback loop of increasing calving and melting causing more volcanism and therefore accelerated melting again.

        • Bill

          No Mike. Not “defensive”. It just pisses me when it seems people are grabbing at stuff without really reading anything and then using snippets, headlines or out of context stuff to suggest things are A-OK.

  11. gsays 11

    Sobering, thanks Bill.

    While the enormity what is in front of us is a little overwhelming, we can make changes.
    None of these will reverse the global trends but they are a start.
    Get involved with local community gardens, look up your local ‘transition towns’ initiative and lend your shoulder to the wheel.
    Have those brave, enquiring conversations, not with a view to win people over, more to plant seeds.

  12. David Mac 12

    “Would you like a 400km long ice cube in that Cosmopolitan Sir?”

  13. Whats so damn beautiful about that freezing hell hole?

    I suppose if your a penguin, whale or seal its great ! My sons got a mate who works on a fishing vessel near the Auckland Islands… 3 months aboard.. Brrrrr !

    No thanks.

    And besides – its full of Nazis and aliens ! Mwhahaha !

    Video for operation highjump ufo footage▶ 7:46

  14. Jenny 14

    Whereas it has been suggested that such a colossal amount of ice would take thousands of years to melt down (as though we were talking of some big ice cube just melting off into the ground), when researchers take processes like “ice cliff failure” (max possible height for an ice cliff being about 100m) and hydro-facturing – (think water and crevasses) – and factor them into modeling, then the collapse of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet occurs over decades, not centuries, and certainly not thousands of years.


    And yet we are still allowing oil and gas drilling up to 2050 and exploration for new reserves up to 2030.

    And New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions keep relentlessly going up, year after year, just as they have under the last two or three administrations. And that continuing increase does not look likely to change under this administration.

    And we keep opening up new coal mines.

    What the hell is that all about?

    Small potatoes you may say, as New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions, (from all sources), totals only 0.2% of the world total. And what we do hardly makes any difference at all.

    However, as Professor Gluckman has said, New Zealand’s biggest contribution to stopping climate change will be by doing something iconic, something that will make the world sit up and take notice.

    In my personal meetings with politicians, all of them agree (on both sides of the house, with varying levels of shock and awe), that canceling oil exploration licences would most certainly be that iconic event that would capture the world’s attention.

    Greenpeace Aotearoa latest petition calls for just that.


    Oh, and also, the repeal of the Andarko Amendment so that we can mobilise the sort of protests that will make oil exploration impossible and too expensive to continue with.


  15. cleangreen 15

    Hi Bill thanks for the article it is very timely.

    Also another stark reminder for us was the fact that successive studies have also found that black tyre dust was detected being swept up of the atlantic currents and was depositing on the ice shelves and attracting heat from the sun and increasing the melting of the ice caps.

    So increased car/truck tyre dust will increase ice shelf melting.

    Climate change: How do we know?

    Now the average heavy freight truck has 34 tyres and produces 100 times more tyre/brake dust and exhaust soot pollution than one car. (NIWA statistics)
    Latest scientific evidence shows these forms of black dust are accelerating the melting of arctic ice faster than previously thought.
    This is increasing sea level rise far more quickly than before.
    This is why we need rail freight transport.
    This is not time to plan more truck routes.
    The proof is here – Quote; “Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century.
    The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.We don’t need more roads for trucks we need a return of rail services.

    We need to manage our transport to lower the air pollution that will increase Antarctic ice melt.


    Soot and Dirt Is Melting Snow and Ice Around the World


    The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:

    Sea level rise

    Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century

    Climate change: How do we know?
    This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])

    This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.

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  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
    Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said. The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Minister Sio to attend Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila. “The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those ...
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    1 day ago
  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
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    2 days ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
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    2 days ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
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    3 days ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
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    4 days ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
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    4 days ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
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    4 days ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
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    4 days ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
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    4 days ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
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    4 days ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
    Kia Ora. It is a pleasure to join you here today at this 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. This gathering provides an important opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons, for which the entry into force of this ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech for Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit 2022
    Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you for the invitation to join you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, and to be in such fine company.  I want to begin today by acknowledging His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Sir David Attenborough in creating what is becoming akin ...
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    4 days ago
  • New accreditation builds capacity for Emergency Management Volunteers
    Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has recognised the first team to complete a newly launched National Accreditation Process for New Zealand Response Team (NZ-RT) volunteers. “NZ-RT volunteers play a crucial role in our emergency response system, supporting response and recovery efforts on the ground. This new accreditation makes sure our ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt strengthens trans-Tasman emergency management cooperation
    Aotearoa New Zealand continues to strengthen global emergency management capability with a new agreement between New Zealand and Australia, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to improving our global and national emergency management system, and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed is another positive step towards ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Call Initiative on Algorithmic Outcomes
    Today New Zealand, the USA, Twitter, and Microsoft, announced investment in a technology innovation initiative under the banner of the Christchurch Call.  This initiative will support the creation of new technology to understand the impacts of algorithms on people’s online experiences.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms play a growing role in ...
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    5 days ago
  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
    Hon Kieran McAnulty, New Zealand Minister for Emergency Management Senator The Hon Murray Watt, Federal Minister for Emergency Management Strengthening Trans-Tasman cooperation on disaster management issues was a key area of focus when Australia and New Zealand’s disaster management ministers met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on ...
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    5 days ago
  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
    The Charities Amendment Bill has been introduced today which will modernise the charities sector by increasing transparency, improving access to justice services and reducing the red-tape that smaller charities face, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “These changes will make a meaningful difference to over 28,000 ...
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    5 days ago
  • Pacific visas reopened to help boost workforce
    Work continues on delivering on a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help relieve workforce shortages, with the reopening of longstanding visa categories, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.  From 3 October 2022, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category ...
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    5 days ago
  • Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill passes into law
    The Bill establishing Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day has passed its third reading. “As Queen of Aotearoa New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication, and public service. Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was a fondness that was shared,” Michael ...
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    5 days ago
  • New investor migrant visa opens
    The new Active Investor Plus visa category created to attract high-value investors, has officially opened marking a key milestone in the Government’s Immigration Rebalance strategy, Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood have announced. “The new Active Investor Plus visa replaces the previous investor visa categories, which ...
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    5 days ago
  • New wharekura continues commitment to Māori education
    A new Year 1-13 designated character wharekura will be established in Feilding, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. To be known as Te Kura o Kauwhata, the wharekura will cater for the expected growth in Feilding for years to come. “The Government has a goal of strengthening Māori ...
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    6 days ago
  • National minute of silence for Queen Elizabeth II
    A national minute of silence will be observed at the start of New Zealand’s State Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II, at 2pm on Monday 26 September. The one-hour service will be held at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, during a one-off public holiday to mark the Queen’s death. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
    Tēnā koutou i tēnei ata. Good morning. Recently I had cause to say to my friends in the media that I consider that my job is only half done. So I’m going to take the opportunity of this year’s Climate and Business Conference to offer you a mid-point review. A ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government enhances protection for our most-productive land  
    Enhanced protection for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most productive land   Councils required to identify, map, and manage highly productive land  Helping ensure Kiwis’ access to leafy greens and other healthy foods Subdivision for housing on highly-productive land could still be possible in limited circumstances  The Government has today released a National ...
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    1 week ago
  • Kieran McAnulty to attend Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty will travel to Brisbane this week to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. “This conference is one of the most important meetings in the Asia-Pacific region to progress disaster risk reduction efforts and increase cooperation between ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to travel to India and Indonesia
    Minister of Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to India and Indonesia for trade and agricultural meetings to further accelerate the Government’s growing trade agenda.  “Exploring ways we can connect globally and build on our trading relationships is a priority for the Government, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Cletus Maanu Paul (ONZM)
    E te rangatira Maanu, takoto mai ra, i tō marae i Wairaka, te marae o te wahine nāna I inoi kia Whakatānea ia kia tae ae ia ki te hopu i te waka Mātaatua kia kore ai i riro i te moana. Ko koe anō tēnā he pukumahi koe mō ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific Wellbeing Strategy sets clear path to improve outcomes for Pacific Aotearoa
    Strengthening partnerships with Pacific communities is at the heart of the Government’s new Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio announced today. “Working alongside communities to ensure more of our aiga and families have access to the staples of life like, housing, education, training and job opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs on the horizon for more than 1,000 rangatahi
    Following on from last week’s Better Pathways Package announcement and Apprenticeship Boost 50,000th apprentice milestone, the Government is continuing momentum, supporting over 1,000 more rangatahi into employment, through new funding for He Poutama Rangatahi. “Our Government remains laser focused on supporting young people to become work ready and tackle the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ/AU partnership to bring world-class satellite positioning services
    Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor today announced a joint Trans-Tasman partnership which will provide Australasia with world-leading satellite positioning services that are up to 50 times more accurate, boosting future economic productivity, sustainability and safety.  New Zealand and Australia have partnered to deliver the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN), with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt helps small businesses get paid on time
    The Government is adding to the support it has offered New Zealand’s small businesses by introducing new measures to help ensure they get paid on time. A Business Payment Practices disclosure regime is being established to improve information and transparency around business-to-business payment practices across the economy, Small Business Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Economy grows as tourism and exports rebound
    The economy has rebounded strongly in the June quarter as the easing of restrictions and reopening of the border boosted economic activity, meaning New Zealand is well placed to meet the next set of challenges confronting the global economy. GDP rose 1.7 percent in the June quarter following a decline ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to China announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Grahame Morton as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to China. “Aotearoa New Zealand and China share a long and important relationship,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As we mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between our nations, we are connected by people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 1.4 million hectares of wilding pine control work in two years
    1.4 million hectares of native and productive land have been protected from wilding conifers in the past two years and hundreds of jobs created in the united efforts to stamp out the highly invasive weeds, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said. Speaking today at the 2022 Wilding Pine Conference in Blenheim, Damien ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • HomeGround – “a place to come together, a place to come home to”
    After 10 years’ hard mahi, HomeGround - Auckland City Mission's new home – is now officially open. “It’s extremely satisfying to see our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need housing and additional support services come together in a place like HomeGround, to create a better future ...
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    2 weeks ago