Author Archives: Rebecca Priestley

About Rebecca Priestley

I have a PhD in the history & philosophy of science and I write about science and science history. I live in New Zealand.

Predicting the new normal

This article first appeared in The Listener, 26 November 2015. “Climate prediction is not an easy job anywhere,” says Dave Frame, professor of climate change at Victoria University of Wellington, but “the southern hemisphere hasn’t generally been the focus for … Continue reading

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Warming signs

First published in The Listener, 10th April, 2014 Whenever there’s a major storm, heat wave or drought these days, people speculate over whether it’s because of global warming and climate change. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, … Continue reading

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The wind turbines of Scott Base

“Fuel is life in Antarctica,” Jonathan Leitch told me at Scott Base last month. Leitch is in charge of asset management at the permanent New Zealand station that sits near the end of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island. This volcanic … Continue reading

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Ernest Shackleton’s 100-year-old whisky

When Ernest Shackleton was ordering provisions for his 1907 expedition to Antarctica, he made it clear that along with the requisite tins of herrings, mulligatawny soup, gooseberry jam and marmalade, he and his men required a supply of whisky. Not … Continue reading

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Antarctica 2014: a few words and some pictures (more to come)

The first time I visited Antarctica I was in the company of a poet (and essayist and novelist), Alice Miller. We were there at the Invitation of Antarctica New Zealand, on their media and artists’ programme, and were hosted and … Continue reading

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A different kind of cold

They say for every 10°C drop in temperature, it’s a “different kind of cold”. The -20°C I experienced camping at Friis Hills in Antarctica was certainly new for me, but the geologists I was with seemed unconcerned: their minds were … Continue reading

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