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Environment

  • 2017 sees more rising temperatures and climate extremes, records show

    2017 sees more rising temperatures and climate extremes, records show

    Weather and climate extremes have continued into 2017 after last year saw record breaking temperatures, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. Global average temperatures were 1.1C above pre-industrial levels in 2016, slightly above the...

  • Reflecting about quarries and technology

    Reflecting about quarries and technology

    During recent walks organised by the Malta Ramblers’ Association, which passed by old and new quarries, I could not help reflecting on how we take everything for granted, not appreciating that technological development has made life easier and...

  • Pupils learn about trees and more outdoors

    Pupils learn about trees and more outdoors

    Kindergarten and primary year pupils recently took part in a series of hands-on sessions in the picnic areas and the surrounding garigue at Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park and Centre for Sustainable Development, Marsaxlokk. The pupils sowed seeds,...

  • Collective amnesia at Dwejra

    Collective amnesia at Dwejra

    The recent public outpouring of grief over the collapse of the Azure Window, the iconic geological structure at Dwejra, is revealing indeed, especially in terms of the country’s inability to properly prioritise environmental issues. While we are...

  • Seismic station in Xlendi records Azure Window collapse

    Seismic station in Xlendi records Azure Window collapse

    This collapse of the Azure Window in Dwejra, Gozo, on the morning of March 8 was recorded by the seismic station in Xlendi of the Seismic Monitoring and Research Group (SMRG) at the University of Malta. The seismic station, which is just around...

  • Millions of tonnes of single-use plastic soft drink bottles 'sold every year'

    Millions of tonnes of single-use plastic soft drink bottles 'sold every year'

    More than two million tonnes of throwaway plastic soft drinks bottles are sold each year, with only a small proportion made from recycled materials, research reveals. A survey by Greenpeace found five of six global soft drinks firms sold...

  • A market for recycled clothing

    A market for recycled clothing

    Collection of clothing and fabrics for re-use is taking root in localities all over the Maltese islands. Last year’s fashions, discarded from our wardrobes and passed on, can go a long way toward helping the environment. Recycling textiles in this...

  • Presentation of evidence of atmospheric pollution by cigarette tobacco smoke

    Presentation of evidence of atmospheric  pollution by cigarette tobacco smoke

    What happens to the cigarette smoke once a cigarette is consumed? Scientific evidence shows that harmful compounds emitted by cigarettes persist in the atmosphere over time even after they are consumed. The first evidence of tobacco atmospheric...

  • Five bright planets now visible

    Five bright planets now visible

    This is a great month for observing planets – with up to five bright planets visible. March marks also the end of Venus as an evening star. The brilliant planet has dominated evening skies over the past few months from 45 million kilometres away;...

  • 3D map tools of Maltese islands launched

    3D map tools of Maltese islands launched

    Cloudisle – a series of baseline 3D maps of Malta that will serve as the base for research in cross-thematic fields – were recently launched by the University of Malta and the Planning Authority. The two entities have successfully brought...

  • The Planning Authority ignores its own experts

    The Planning Authority ignores its own experts

    A deafening silence has greeted the recent publication of statistics regarding the issue of planning permits in Outside Development Zones (ODZ), with the Planning Authority not batting an eyelid about the damning figures. At the Planning...

  • Maltese pyramidal orchid

    Maltese pyramidal orchid

    Local scientists agree that about 27 vascular plants are only found on the Maltese islands  and defined as endemic plants. They are all equally important species for the ecology of our islands but perhaps many agree that the most attractive is the...

  • All is set for March walks

    All is set for March walks

    Spring is in the air. The sky brightens, daylight grows longer and in the clear bright atmospheric conditions so unique to our Mediterranean region ramblers will in March relish the splendour of contrasting hues and shades offered by the open...

  • Arctic windmills maybe?

    Arctic windmills maybe?

    Scientists battle it out on the Ars Technica news forum, over the best way to stop the Arctic becoming ‘toast’. With the other hand they fend off climate-sceptic trolls. Now a new wave of sceptics has appeared. They say rude things about the old...

  • No more tears as otter cubs return to the wild

    No more tears as otter cubs return to the wild

    An otter cub found crying on a doorstep has been successfully returned to the wild after a year in care. The cub, named Gribun, was around eight weeks old when it was found and taken into the care of the SSPCA. Another young otter, Rush, was also...

  • North Pole research vessel mission 'could improve climate forecasts'

    North Pole research vessel mission 'could improve climate forecasts'

    A daring attempt to send a research vessel completely trapped in ice across the North Pole could lead to more accurate weather and climate forecasts, say scientists. Stranded and unable to move, the RV Polarstern will be carried by slowly flowing...

  • Archbishop visits green roof project at University

    Archbishop visits green roof project at University

    Archbishop Charles Scicluna recently visited the Life Med Green Roof project at the University of Malta’s Faculty for the Built Environment. The project aims to create a baseline study on green roofs to encourage the adoption of the technology in...

  • Research on environmentally friendly method for the production of medicine

    Research conducted by Nicolette Sammut Bartolo from the University of Malta’s Department of Pharmacy for the award a Doctor in Philosophy degree specialising in synthesis using green chemis­try has led to the development of a synthetic process for...

  • Why the environment will not be an electoral issue

    Why the environment will not be an electoral issue

    Malta is currently bracing itself for the periodic state of suspended animation known as an electoral campaign when even the most level-headed citizens of the country lose their marbles in their quest for a seat in Parliament. A few weeks ago,...

  • Tiny plastc 'nurdles' discovered on 73 per cent of beaches in nationwide search in UK

    Tiny plastc 'nurdles' discovered on 73 per cent of beaches in nationwide search in UK

    A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets. The lentil-sized pellets known as "nurdles" are used as a raw material by industry to make new plastic products. But...

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