NIWA said yesterday the chances of a weak El Nino pattern this spring are 50 per cent, double the usual probability. This could pose problems for farmers without access to irrigation water.
A city the size of Christchurch could be powered by generating geothermal electricity from the heat in our disused oil and gas wells, reckons GNS Science. There are over 300 old wells with the heat to become significant generators. What’s more, many more old wells could be directly tapped for their geothermal riches.
Our world is hugely dependant on petroleum-based plastics and other non-renewable materials. But renewable “biofibres” such as wood, flax or hemp could take over – and sooner than many think. Scion, a Crown Research Institute, wants to realise products that are made with less energy, do the job at least as well, and ultimately don’t grow the landfill.