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Climate research linking Maori early fires with Antarctic changes is controversial | New Zealand

Deep in the ice of the distant Antarctic Peninsula, a group of researchers found evidence that an early Maori-initiated fire caused a detectable atmospheric change 7,000 km away.of new ZealandThe research has sparked its own fierce controversy – the inclusion of indigenous peoples in scientific enterprises, and what scientists owe to those with a history that is the subject of their research.

This study, published this month, investigated ice cores in the Antarctic Peninsula. Scientists have discovered a high concentration of black carbon dating back 700 years. Atmospheric modeling narrowed down possible sources to New Zealand, Patagonia, or Tasmania, but charcoal records matched the time frame only in New Zealand.Deposit matched with Maori Arriving in New Zealand, he used fire to clean the land and showed the effects of the lower Maori.

The discovery was unexpected, said Joe McConnell, a professor at the Desert Institute, who led the study. “What really surprised us about this was that it seemed to be human activity that had such a big impact,” says McConnell. “It really emphasizes how the Earth is interrelated. It’s really surprising that even early people arriving in New Zealand can have a significant impact on atmospheric chemistry 7,000 km away. It’s a discovery to be made. “

McConnell said New Zealand does not have a natural burning cycle and its plants are not well adapted to fire. “So when humans ignited the landscape, it made a pretty dramatic change.”

He said emissions from small islands are prominent, although emissions are low compared to many current fires. “Compare it with what comes out of Amazon [burning] For example, it’s now smaller by comparison, “McConnell said. “What surprised us was that New Zealand’s land area was relatively small and the emissions of such a small land area were quite high.”

Also surprising is Maori Arrival compared to later European ones. “In the 16th century, emissions from New Zealand were comparable to emissions shortly after Europe arrived in New Zealand,” says McConnell. “That surprised us – we expected more impact from our arrival in Europe, and we didn’t.”

The team published an article in Nature, one of the world’s most prominent scientific journals.But the reception is new Zealand Several Maori scholars have raised concerns about the lack of Maori members of the research team and have been mixed.

Dr. Priscilla Wehi, director of the Te Pūnaha Matatini Research Center, said through the Science Media Center that the findings were “scientifically spectacular,” but “in helicopter science, research is far from their subject. It is led and done by people who live and work. Work “.

“How good was this, was the approach more comprehensive?” She asked.

Sandy Morrison, an associate professor at the University of Waikato, described the treatise as “no context and no cultural understanding.” “It hints at scientific arrogance, with the tacit assumption that the Maori people have much to explain in terms of contributing to carbon emissions.”

Morrison told the Guardian that he was shocked by the treatise he did not collaborate with Maori researchers. “Sure, I just want to check the context and look it up before writing a letter around people,” she said.

“You’ve come so far in terms of working with New Zealand scientists, and you [this] From the international one. “

Over the last two years, there has been increasing debate and controversy over the Tauranga Maori (indigenous knowledge system) and their role in New Zealand science. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which funds much of the country’s scientific research, announced Vision Mātauranga about 10 years ago. That principle will be incorporated into the preferred investment areas of all provinces. In fact, that meant that crown-funded research needed to include partnerships and consultations with Maori, and a broader shift to integrate Maori knowledge into research and learning. Recently, changes have been proposed to the New Zealand curriculum, allowing the Tauranga Maori language to be comparable to other bodies of knowledge.

“a long time Maori was talking [the fact] We do our own research, and at least our relationship with us should be nurtured before everyone wants to write about us, “Morison said. “It seems to be popular in the New Zealand research scene, but not so much internationally.”

None of the authors of the treatise were from New Zealand, but I was surprised by the backlash.

“I was definitely surprised,” says McConnell. “We did not start with any method, form, or form to investigate the effects of Maori-related burning, nor to criticize, form, or form Maori management of the land. No one has challenged the findings of the Black Carbon treatise, he said.

“This helicopter science idea-our research is not based on New Zealand … it is based on Antarctica, And there are no indigenous peoples in Antarctica. So I don’t think we did it any other way, “he said.

“In the world of science [and] In the scientific method, the response is: If someone disagrees with our findings, they write a treatise and get it through peer reviews or comments and tell us what we did wrong … who works to have the most solid argument Is it forward? That’s all about the scientific method. But I don’t think this is a scientific debate. “

Dr. Dan Hicroa, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, said: It’s just that the findings may have been more abundant. ”

“Science is reproducible, rigorous, and looks pretty upright,” he said. “I think it’s a broader context-what much of the scientific community is currently aware of. One of the characteristics and pillars or strengths of science is that it functions to generate knowledge, but in fact. It works within the social system. ”Recognizing that, Hicroa says,“ I really miss this place. ”

He says the integration of the Tauranga Maori can make scientific discoveries more powerful and increase the diversity of scientific teams. He pointed out other studies, Also introduced in NatureUsing the Tauranga Maori document on groundwater and plant life, we documented the historic groundwater flow to assess the risk of future pollution.

“There are multiple ways we can know, exist, and understand the world we can draw out and use when we are about to make important decisions. For example, how to conduct a survey, the type of team we build, and the type of team. And so on. About the questions we ask and how we try to answer those questions, “he says.

The argument that “I’m a particular scientist doing things in a particular way, so I don’t have to worry about these things” hasn’t held up as much as it used to. “

Climate research linking Maori early fires with Antarctic changes is controversial | New Zealand

Source link Climate research linking Maori early fires with Antarctic changes is controversial | New Zealand

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