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World Wetlands Day 2023

This #worldwetlandsday: 2nd of February, we celebrate our humble wetlands - our percolating protectors, our seeping sentinels. 
Wetlands are where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is permanently or temporarily (as with the tides) covered by water. Wetlands act like the kidneys of the earth, cleaning the water that flows into them. They trap sediment and soils, filter out nutrients and remove contaminants; can reduce flooding and protect coastal land from storm surge; are important for maintaining water tables; they also return nitrogen to the atmosphere.
In the past, those soggy areas of land were often drained and 'put to better use' but now we know they are essential and one of the world's most productive environments. In New Zealand they support the greatest concentration of wildlife out of any other habitat.

Aotearoa New Zealand's historic Wetland extent; a prediction of wetlands before humans arrived - mapped by Ministry for the Environment | Manatū mō te Taiao.

"Wetlands support unique biodiversity and provide important services. They clean water of nutrients and sediment, help dampen floods, provide habitat, and act as carbon sinks. They are also valued for their spiritual and cultural significance and as important sources of food and materials, such as flax. Draining them for agricultural and urban development has reduced their extent. Understanding this reduction provides insight into the loss of biodiversity and natural function.
This dataset relates to the "Wetland extent" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website."

Tāmaki-Makau-rau Auckland has seen record rainfall over the last month. Intense rain on the 27th of January brought the wettest day ever recorded in Auckland, New Zealand; with one weather station recording 211mm of rainfall in under six hours! Extreme flooding has tragically so far claimed the lives of four people.

Tāmaki-Makau-rau (Auckland Airport) recorded it's wettest month in at least the last 170 years; with a whopping 539mm of rain in January! 🌧 While here in Waihōpai (Invercargill Airport) we recorded yet another dry January with just 25.3mm of rain. ☀

Protecting our last remaining remnants of wetlands, and potentially restoring the extent of historic wetlands, is critical to our Climate Change response.
Geography, digital geography has a role to play in the various outcomes of Climate Change, watch this space as new technologies and methodologies evolve in our ever-changing world.

– Matt Couldrey [geoid - digital geography]

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