Govt’s seeks feedback on blueprint for adapting to a warmer world

New Zealanders can have their say from today on a proposed National Adaptation Plan to help communities across the country adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

Reforming resource management, bringing in laws to support managed retreat, and updating how the government handles emergencies are among the top priorities in the draft plan.

The plan aims at bringing down emissions and helping prevent the worst effects of climate change, but must also support communities already being hit by more extreme and more frequent weather events, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said.

Central Government does not bear all the costs under the proposal.  The consultation asks how best to share risks and costs between property and asset owners, insurers, banks and local government as well.

It also asks for views on managed retreat and flood insurance, to ensure a joined-up approach to climate change adaptation. Continue reading

Research team is working on greedy algae that are great for our environment

Phosphorus supports photosynthesis, a process which is positive for terrestrial plants. But the same mechanism causes algal growth and the pollution of aquatic ecosystems.

This unwanted effect can be mitigated if the aquatic microalgae fertilised by phosphorus pollution are contained and harvested.

It’s a solution that has global application because microalgae thrive in ponds used by farmers and rural communities around the world to treat their wastewater effluents.

But wastewater treatment ponds do not currently remove phosphorus because the biomass generated during the degradation of organic pollutants can only assimilate small amounts of phosphorus and the biomass itself is not removed following treatment.
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New pollution-reducing technology enables crops to take nitrogen from the air

A major new technology has been developed by The University of Nottingham, which enables all of the world’s crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers.

The development has been announced in a media release (here) posted on UK Campus.

The statement explains that nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital for plants to survive and grow.

But only a very small number of plants, most notably legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils) have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere with the help of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

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