Our Changing World

Our Changing World

Stories about science and nature from out in the field and inside the labs across Aotearoa New Zealand. Winner 2022 New Zealand Radio Awards Best Factual Podcast - Episodic

Episodes

April 18, 2024 29 mins
Journalist Rebekah White meets two people who have been counting albatrosses on remote islands in the subantarctic for more than three decades. Their research shows that at least one species is en route to extinction. A few changes to the way we fish could save it.
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New Zealand once led the world in marine protection. Now it looks like we will fail to meet our international promise to protect 30 percent of our ocean estate by 2030. Why is stopping fishing so politically fraught? How might our ideas about marine protection need to change? And why, when our seas are in need, is it taking us so long to learn to talk to each other?
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The Bounty Islands are tiny in terms of area – just some bits of granite jutting out of the ocean. But they are huge in terms of seabirds. James Frankham joins a team researching the erect-crested penguins who breed in this remote archipelago. Recent counts suggest the penguins of the Bounties are doing fine. But this is not the case on the Antipodes Islands, and the researchers desperately want to know why. 
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Kuaka bar-tailed godwits make the longest non-stop flights, and researchers are using hi-tech tags to solve the mystery of how and when they sleep. 
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What roles do our ocean ecosystems play in capturing carbon? Kate Evans speaks to iwi Māori working to improve the health of an estuary in the Bay of Plenty, and to scientists studying the fiords of New Zealand’s southwest coast. There’s potential for huge amounts of carbon to be locked away, if we don’t mess it up.  
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People and livestock gobble so much fish that the seas soon won’t keep up. Is the answer to grow fish on land? Kate Evans meets scientists figuring out the puzzles of how to farm some of New Zealand’s iconic ocean creatures.
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Kina numbers are exploding on some of our reefs, decimating seaweed habitats. Could this problem be solved by eating them? Kate Evans investigates the potential of kina-nomics.
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Crackle, pop, woof, crunch, click. In the ocean, an undersea orchestra is in full swing. Journalist Kate Evans discovers who’s playing in it and why, and what happens when human noise drowns out this symphony in the sea. 
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A group of young New Zealanders and two meteorologists travel to South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean to collect weather observations – continuing the scientific legacy of early Antarctic explorers like Shackleton.
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An ambitious project to rid the remote Antipodes Island of introduced mice proved successful in 2018. Claire Concannon visits the spectacular subantarctic island to meet the locals – from penguins to megaherbs – and the people studying the wildlife. Plus, we learn about what's at stake in the next island eradication challenge for New Zealand.
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February 1, 2024 29 mins
Allergenic pollen is a big trigger for New Zealand’s high rates of hay fever and asthma. But for 35 years, we’ve had no current data on pollen levels. Until now. Justin Gregory talks to a team who want to change that.
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January 25, 2024 29 mins
Giant kelp is disappearing from Wellington Harbour. Love Rimurimu is aiming to restore lush underwater kelp forests with an ambitious and collaborative replanting effort. Claire Concannon dives in to the wonderful world of seaweeds.
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January 18, 2024 28 mins
In the final instalment of the summer science series, science communication students tackle two controversial topics: medicinal cannabis, and AI consciousness.
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Should we intervene to prevent hybridisation between an endangered species and its common relative? In this week's summer science episode, two students from the Department of Science Communication at the University of Otago tell stories of science controversy: the conservation conundrum of hybrids, and the relationship between western science and mātauranga Māori.
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January 4, 2024 12 mins
Kākā numbers are skyrocketing in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington thanks to conservation efforts. The summer science series continues with a walk through Zealandia to find out why you shouldn't feed these inquisitive parrots.
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January 4, 2024 14 mins
The summer science fun continues with an episode from RNZ podcast Voices. Meet Gaia Dell'Arriccia, a scientist originally from the south of France who studies the seabirds that live around Auckland's coastlines.
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The summer science series kicks off with an episode from award-winning podcast Black Sheep, about a backyard inventor called Victor Penny who sparked sensational headlines about death ray inventions in 1935.
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This week on Our Changing World RNZ podcast producer, and occasional dinosaur correspondent William Ray visits Ngā Taniwha o Rūpapa Dinosaurs of Patagonia, a special exhibition at Te Papa Museum to discover the surprising link between the giant dinosaurs of Patagonia, and prehistoric New Zealand.
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December 14, 2023 29 mins
Off the coast of New Zealand, deep underwater, the seafloor shifts in landslides and slow-motion earthquakes. Claire Concannon meets two researchers investigating geological phenomena that could pose a tsunami risk to Aotearoa New Zealand.
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Go behind the scenes at the National Geohazard Monitoring Centre, where a team of analysts are on alert 24/7 for earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis and landslides. What happens when a natural disaster strikes?
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