All posts tagged “climate

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How Much Carbon Dioxide was in the Atmosphere of New Zealand’s Jurassic Curio Bay Fossil Forest?

How do you figure out how much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere millions of years ago? In the Jurassic, the fossil forest at Curio Bay in New Zealand was probably growing in higher latitudes than any forest in the Southern Hemisphere today. The reasons… Read more

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When Frequent-Flying Becomes Insane-Flying

I loved my Singapore Airlines ‘Elite Gold’ card. Suddenly, International airports transitioned from being places where food and drink were wildly overpriced, to …. free. When I stuffed-up and missed flights, or political rules changed and I couldn’t board an aircraft – instead of costing… Read more

Miocene Nothofagus leaf and Allocasuarina fruits, New Zealand, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Miocene Rain and Fire Forests of Bannockburn

Canungra is the perfect place to stop for a snack on the drive up to O’Reilly’s/Lamington National Park in southeastern Queensland. On a weekend you can grab a latte and pie and sit outside a cafe, watching the biker crowd doing pretty much the same… Read more

Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Miocene Nothofagus in New Zealand’s Manuherikia Group

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Nothofagus leaf fossils in New Zealand is – not finding them. Nothofagus is another name for the southern beech trees that form forests in New Zealand, as well as Australia, Patagonia, New Caledonia and New Guinea. As a group, the beeches are… Read more

Miocene leaf fossil from Blue Lake, St Bathans, Manuherikia Group, New Zealand
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Blue Lake, St Bathans – the most biodiverse Miocene fossil plant locality

The biodiversity of Blue Lake, at St Bathans, New Zealand, is precisely zero. It is an artificial lake partly filling a hole blasted out in the search for gold in the 19th century. The hole is directly in front of one of St Bathan’s and New… Read more

Fossil pea pod (legume) from the Miocene Miocene Manuherikia Group of New Zealand
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Giant Pea Pod fossils in New Zealand’s Miocene

Pea pod fossils in New Zealand were first found by Aline Holden, a pioneer of New Zealand plant fossil research. She found the first ones at Bannockburn in 1981, while working on her PhD, and then found more in the Nevis Valley. In 1987, my… Read more

Fossil palm from New Zealand Miocene Manuherikia Group
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The Fossil Palm Swamps of Central Otago, New Zealand

One of the endearing memories I have during my PhD was working on the banks above the Kawarau River near Cromwell (Central Otago, New Zealand), in the middle of the winter. I was belting my way with a pick into a sequence of mud that… Read more

Fossil palm from New Zealand Miocene Manuherikia Group
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The Fossil Palm Swamps of Central Otago, New Zealand

One of the endearing memories I have during my PhD was working on the banks above the Kawarau River near Cromwell (Central Otago, New Zealand), in the middle of the winter. I was belting my way with a pick into a sequence of mud that… Read more

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Australia’s Fatal Fire-Flume

The first time I came to Brisbane in the hot part of the year – I couldn’t believe how anyone could survive there. The nights were oppressively, putridly hot, and full of bitey-insects. Then I ended up living there and suffered for years. I would… Read more

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Four Degrees of Climate Change in New Zealand – should we care?

New Zealand might be a relatively lucky position as regards global warming. We mostly have a moderate, ‘maritime’ climate. Not too hot, too dry, and except for the dirty dribbles of ice we make so much of, no ice-sheets to melt. We’re not like Australia, where… Read more