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Environment

  • China drives world carbon emissions to record high

    China drives world carbon emissions to record high

    World carbon dioxide emissions will hit a record high this year, driven by China’s growth and keeping the world far off track from the deep cuts needed to limit climate change, a study said. More than half of proven fossil fuel reserves may have...

  • Marches draws thousands

    Marches draws thousands

    An international day of action on climate change brought thousands of people on to the streets of New York City and London on Sunday. Organisers estimated that some 310,000 people, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice...

  • Climate disaster costs ‘spiralling’

    Climate disaster costs ‘spiralling’

    Heads of state and government expected to attend major climate summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York tomorrow Weather-related disasters have cost the world €380 million in the past five years, campaigners said. More than...

  • Prince Charles urges action

    Action on climate change is not bad for business, it is “the only rational choice”, the Prince of Wales will tell a summit of world leaders meeting to discuss the issue. In a video message to the UN climate summit in New York tomorrow, Prince...

  • Some 22m displaced by natural disasters in 2013

    A United Nations-backed report launched last week reveals that 22 million people worldwide were displaced in 2013 by disasters sparked largely by earthquakes or climate- and weather-related events – almost three times more than by conflict in the...

  • Comino: island of plastic

    Comino: island of plastic

    Following the visit by the Tara Oceans research vessel, Environment Minister Leo Brincat last Sunday rightly spoke on the dire need to address the issue of plastic. The Maltese ‘disposable’ mentality is such that no site on the islands, however...

  • Honey buzzards

    Honey buzzards

    The European honey buzzard, known in Maltese as kuċċarda, is a migratory raptor seen over Malta in spring and autumn. It soars on its broad wings by using the hot air currents, known as thermals, to sustain an effortless flight that takes it from...

  • Colossal squid

    Colossal squid

    Scientists have examined a colossal squid that was caught in Antarctica’s remote Ross Sea. Captain John Bennett and his crew hauled up the creature from a mile below the surface. The squid weighed 770lb, is as long as a minibus and is one of the...

  • Ocean algae can cope with climate change

    Ocean algae can cope with climate change

    Tiny marine algae can evolve fast enough to cope with climate change in a sign that some ocean life may be more resilient than thought to rising temperatures and acidification, a study showed. Evolution is usually omitted in scientific projections...

  • Second consecutive summer sighting of compass jellyfish

    Second consecutive summer sighting of compass jellyfish

    Reported for the first time in Maltese waters at Ramla l-Ħamra last year, the compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) has now been spotted at Żurrieq by Adrian Fabri. He submitted a report on the sighting to the Spot the Jellyfish database...

  • Screening of underwater documentaries about MPAs at Mġarr ix-Xini and Rdum Majjiesa

    The International Ocean Institute-Malta Operational Centre (IOI-MOC) at the University of Malta held a free public screening of two underwater documentaries produced as part of the Panacea project that focused on the Mġarr ix-Xini and Rdum...

  • When our wells run dry

    When our wells run dry

    Just before the end-of-summer rains were due to fall and relieve the thirsty land, a water bowser carrying non-potable ground water came rumbling down the road. The bowser made a stop to fill the empty wells of two houses in the street. A third...

  • Honey bees

    Honey bees

    The honey bee is a social insect which evolved in Africa from where it spread to all adjoining land masses. Wild honey bees build colonies in cavities in cliff faces, hollow tree trunks and other suitable places. Colonies often consist of tens of...

  • Bees ‘prefer city to countryside’

    Bumblebees seem to prefer the buzz of the city to the countryside, a large-scale ‘citizen’s science’ study in the UK found.They also like to have a cool breeze on their backs when foraging, and choose English lavender over the more ‘flowery’French...

  • CO2 levels soar to record highs

    CO2 levels soar to record highs

    Surging carbon dioxide levels have pushed greenhouse gases to record highs in the atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has said. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the major cause of global warming, increased at their fastest...

  • Angelina to Victor Borg’s rescue

    The promontory at Ta’ Ċenċ is truly an idyllic place… one of those rarified coastal locations on our islands where one ‘can get away from it all’, without the obtrusive sight of concrete. The unquantifiable value of the coastal asset at Ta’ Ċenċ...

  • Urgent need to defuse the microplastics time bomb

    Urgent need to defuse the microplastics time bomb

    The threat posed by microplastics to the health of the marine environment and to public health is still low on the radar, having so far failed to captivate the public’s attention. Marine scientists have long been talking about the sheer magnitude...

  • Gudja illegality

    Gudja illegality

    The owner of this plot of land in Gudja had a permit just to repair its rubble walls and install a pump room, but he then proceeded to deposit and spread large quantities of soil and place prefabricated stables on site too. Enforcement action by...

  • Slick whodunnit

    Slick whodunnit

    Bathers at St Paul’s Bay last Sunday found an oily residue slick floating on the water surface. A rigorous laboratory analysis should have been conducted on a sample of the slick to determine where it came from.

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    The most notable earthquake in August was the magnitude 5.8 event that occurred 145km south of Athens, Greece, on August 29 at 5.45am local time (green circle in map). The earthquake hypocentre was almost 100km below the earth’s surface, in the...

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