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Environment

  • The century plant

    The century plant

    The century plant is a large distinctive flowering plant. It is native to Mexico, Arizona and Texas but is widely cultivated elsewhere and is now found on all continents except Antarctica. It prefers dry, arid regions and grows well in the...

  • Number of wading birds in UK falling

    Some of the most familiar wading birds flocking to UK estuaries in winter have seen major declines in the past decade, conservationists have warned. The latest results from the Wetland Bird Survey have revealed that ringed plovers, redshanks,...

  • Smelting, mining ‘caused pollution in Antarctica’

    Smelting, mining ‘caused pollution in Antarctica’

    The first lead pollution in Antarctica occurred as a result of industrial emissions more than 20 years before explorers reached the South Pole, scientists have discovered. Norwegian Roald Amundsen became the first man to set foot on the pole in...

  • Water vapour linked to global warming

    Rising levels of water vapour high above the earth are likely to intensify the effects of global warming in coming decades, say scientists. The increasing amounts of water in the upper troposphere are a direct result of human activity, research...

  • Charity to sanction illegalities?

    To the Maltese mindset, so easily impressed by largesse, Montekristo Estates represents the lifelong feat of a successful entrepreneur. Despite the occasional spoke in the wheels thrown in by entities such as the Malta Environment and Planning...

  • Pushing Xagħra towards Marsalforn

    Pushing Xagħra towards Marsalforn

    Planning Application 1822/14 proposes the construction of a dwelling along Marsalforn Road, Xagħra, on a site that is officially declared as lying ‘within scheme’. So far, nothing untoward which raises eyebrows. However, upon closer inspection,...

  • Trees bear the brunt

    Trees bear the brunt

    It hasn’t been a good week for trees. Reports that an estimated 2,000 mature trees faced the chop at Kennedy Grove understandably generated angst among many. The sheer number of trees involved makes it hard to fathom how they can all be transplanted.

  • Human beings need to go out to be in nature

    Human beings need to go out to be in nature

    What is the real nature of a human being? What is our highest potential and how can we live it to fulfill the essence of our purpose? We live in a world of impulses, noise, external light and constant movement. The silence of a forest has...

  • Newly-recognised bird species ‘face extinction’

    Newly-recognised bird species ‘face extinction’

    Dozens of newly-recognised bird species have been listed as threatened with extinction, a report has revealed. A review of the classification of “non-passerine” birds such as birds of prey, seabirds, waterbirds and owls has recognised 361 new...

  • Experts warn over insects’ decline

    Numbers of insects and other invertebrates such as spiders, crustaceans and worms have nearly halved in 35 years as the human population doubled, a study warned. The decline in invertebrate numbers mirrors similar reductions in the abundance of...

  • Globe’s on a hot streak

    Globe’s on a hot streak

    The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record last month for the second month in a row. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last month’s average global temperature was 16.2˚C, which is 0.7˚C higher than the 20th...

  • Antarctic sea ice ‘error’ claimed

    Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as rapidly previously thought – with much of the increase potentially down to a data error, scientists have said. While Arctic sea ice has been melting significantly in recent years, satellite observations...

  • The humped crab spider

    The humped crab spider

    The humped crab spider is common on the Maltese islands. It is widely distributed and can be found throughout most of Europe, except for the northern parts, and in Africa. Its range extends east as far as Siberia. Crab spiders got their name from...

  • Elephants’ sense of smell superior to other mammals’

    Elephants’ sense of smell superior to other mammals’

    Elephants have been revealed to have the most sophisticated sense of smell in a league table of mammals compiled by scientists. Researchers who examined olfactory receptors, the proteins involved in detecting smell, found that African elephants...

  • Up in the clouds with chemtrails

    Up in the clouds with chemtrails

    In a cloudless sky a trail hangs long after a passing plane has flown by. Sometimes a grid of white trails can be seen criss-crossing overhead. These are contrails, simple trails of aircraft exhaust made visible by condensation. Smoking gun to...

  • Learning to help dolphins and turtles

    Learning to help dolphins and turtles

    Training sessions are being held for the volunteers in the LifePlus project Migrate which aims to protect and conserve the bottlenose dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Participants will learn how to recognise the different species of cetaceans...

  • Programme helps school save water

    St Margaret College Primary School A, Żabbar, has installed a plumbing and water tank system to use secondary water for cleaning and flushing from an underlying reservoir. This was done with the help of the HSBC water programme Catch the Drop...

  • Environmental programmes participation growing

    Ninety-seven students from 20 schools received awards for their contributions in two education for sustainable development programmes run by Nature Trust Malta – Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) and Learning about Forests (Leaf). The...

  • Australia scraps carbon tax

    Australia scraps carbon tax

    The Australian Senate yesterday voted to scrap the country’s carbon tax and plans for emissions trading, a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott that leaves uncertainty about how the country will meet its carbon reduction...

  • Long-horned general

    Long-horned general

    The long-horned general is a European species of soldier fly. Soldier flies make up a large family of about 1,500 species, about 140 of which are found in Europe and about four on the Maltese islands. The long-horned general is known in Maltese as...

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