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Environment

  • Assessing the performance of buildings in future earthquakes

    Assessing the performance of buildings in future earthquakes

    During the past 20 years, natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis have claimed the lives of over 3.5 million people, and adversely affected the lives of a billion people worldwide. Since World War II, economic losses associated with...

  • White roach legends

    White roach legends

    If you ask more than 90 per cent of the world’s population which creature in the animal kingdom they hate or dislike most, the first on the list will always be the cockroach, followed in a chronological order by spiders, mosquitoes, flies, rats...

  • How to mistreat a coastal zone

    How to mistreat a coastal zone

    Malta’s coastal zones suffer an  onslaught during summer, mainly due to the sheer number of people visiting the seaside and the lack of sandy beaches on the Maltese islands, but also due to the complete lack of management measures to regulate what...

  • UK nuclear sunset?

    UK nuclear sunset?

    It’s coming up to six years since badgers were relocated to make way for Britain’s next nuclear power station on the Somerset coast. In the pipeline for nearly a decade, plans for Hinkley Point took an unexpected turn in July. Last month, as...

  • Research project on environmentally friendly soil sterilisation techniques

    Research project on environmentally friendly soil sterilisation techniques

    A research project on soil sterilisation in greenhouses using two environmentally friendly techniques – soil solarisation and biofumigation – has shown that the former is a very effective alternative to using chemicals to sterilise soil and can be...

  • Oldest creature

    Oldest creature

    An enormous but mysterious shark species which has been found in British waters is the longest-living vertebrate in the world, scientists say. Some Greenland sharks, which can reach more than five metres in length, can reach an age of around 400...

  • Growing call for UK grouse shooting ban

    The start of the grouse shooting season in England has reignited the debate over the sport’s role in protecting the countryside. As the industry yesterday marked the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ – the beginning of the red grouse season – moorland owners...

  • Turtles making a return?

    Turtles making a return?

    The recent nesting of a loggerhead turtle at Ramla tal-Mixquqa (Golden Bay) has, predictably, stirred much local interest in view of the charismatic nature of these iconic nomads of the sea. Way back in 1960, the same beach was a far cry from the...

  • Quake Watch during July

    Quake Watch during July

    A 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean on July 29. Although this magnitude is high, no damage was reported by the inhabitants, mainly because the quake occurred at a depth of 210km. Moreover, no tsunami warning...

  • Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience

    Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience

    Mariya Grech Muscat, who is currently reading for a PhD at the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences, attended the 34th annual Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience (Sage) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, US. Sage is a four-week intensive...

  • The hottest year ever, 2015, broke other climate records

    The hottest year ever, 2015, broke other climate records

    Dozens of climate records were broken last year, according to a report nicknamed the ‘annual physical for the planet’. Soon after 2015 ended, it was proclaimed the hottest on record – and the new report shows the broad extent of other records and...

  • Large carnivores at risk as their prey decline

    Large carnivores at risk as their prey decline

    Large carnivores around the world are increasingly at risk of going hungry as the prey species they depend on for survival decline, research has shown. The tiger is one of five land predators with the greatest proportions of threatened prey whose...

  • Managing Nwadar parkland

    Managing Nwadar parkland

    A stretch of land the size of Rabat, where terraced fields run down to the coastline, is set to become managed parkland on Malta’s southeastern coast. The aim is to steer away from ‘showcase conservation’ by providing local context and objectives...

  • World night sky atlas

    World night sky atlas

    Nothing steals away at the awe of the night sky more than light pollution. It is recognised by scientists all over the world as a threat not just to star gazing but also to nocturnal birds, insects, mammals and the ecosystems in which they...

  • University, UPEI, to share Unesco Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability

    A new Unesco Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability is to be jointly hosted by the University of Malta and the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada.It will work to establish and expand academic and research programmes on small...

  • Plant pollination

    Plant pollination

    A seed plant must be pollinated to produce seeds. In fact, plants have evolved various means to ensure that pollination takes place. Pollination involves a process whereby pollen grain produced by the male part of a flower is transferred to the...

  • Orangutan’s voice control is clue to human speech

    Orangutan’s voice control is clue to human speech

    An orangutan called Rocky has outperformed Sylvester Stallone in the film of the same name by displaying an ability to emulate human speech. In the film, Stallone’s character Rocky Balboa is better at talking with his fists than communicating...

  • Ditch metal and plastic and turn to wood to save planet

    Ditch metal and plastic and turn to wood to save planet

    For design enthusiasts worried about forests being axed for furniture, this may come as a bit of a surprise: buying a table made of wood instead of metal or plastic could significantly help cut carbon emissions, according to a UN...

  • Boathouses in paradise

    Boathouses in paradise

    Tucked away in the southeast coast of Gozo, a stone’s throw from the busy Mġarr Harbour, is Xatt l-Aħmar. It owes its name to the reddish hues of the surrounding soils and of the sand on its beach. The site is a treasure trove for geologists and...

  • First Sustainable Practices Awards

    First Sustainable Practices Awards

    At the recent Greenpak Annual Awards 2016 ceremony, the first Sustainable Practices Awards were presented to local councils that introduced the highest number of sustainable waste practices and registered the greatest increases in the collection...

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