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Environment

  • The onion weed

    The onion weed

    The onion weed is a spring-flowering plant of the lily family. It is found in Mediterranean countries but has been introduced in many areas with a Mediterranean climate, particularly in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. It has...

  • Experts set out global deal demands

    Experts set out global deal demands

    Earth Day’s 45th anniversary marks the year in which world leaders finally pass a binding climate change treaty in a bid to avert possible natural catastrophes Leading scientists have set out what a global climate deal, set to be negotiated in...

  • Amazon forest’s carbon levels hit by loggers

    Amazon forest’s carbon levels hit by loggers

    Human activity has robbed the Amazon rainforest of more than 10 per cent of its ability to store carbon in its vegetation, a study has found. Deforestation of the giant forest is likely to account for 1.5 per cent of the increase in atmospheric...

  • Smog-hit China aims for stimulus as growth wanes

    Smog-hit China aims for stimulus as growth wanes

    Days before Beijing cut bank reserve requirements to boost lending to China’s slowing economy, officials in Hebei province met with dozens of banks and steel mills to find financing to revive local industry and tackle chronic environmental...

  • Squirrels ‘host Lyme disease bugs’

    Grey squirrels may harbour a serious infection that can be spread to humans by ticks. Such rodents from the US already have previous convictions for decimating Britain’s red squirrel populations and damaging woodland by stripping bark from...

  • Ramblers savour the sights of spring

    Ramblers savour the sights of spring

    At this time of the year the Maltese islands offer some of the most fascinating country walks in the Mediterranean, taking in secluded coastal zones, an exhilarating array of scenic landscapes rich in geological features, deserted beaches,...

  • Largest, unrepresented minority

    Largest, unrepresented minority

    The spring hunting referendum may be done and dusted but a number of sore points about the result and the way the campaign was conducted still linger on. Over 124,000 people voted No in the referendum, which is a significant number by any stretch...

  • Mason bees

    Mason bees

    The mason bee is common in spring: it can easily be identified by the thick layer of reddish brown hair that covers its thorax, the hairless blackish brown abdomen and reddish legs. Females have an abdominal broom, which is formed by fringes of...

  • Zombie worm ‘destroyed fossils’

    A species of bone-eating worm that was believed to have evolved in conjunction with whales has been dated back to prehistoric times when it fed on the carcasses of giant marine reptiles. Scientists found that Osedax – popularised as the ‘zombie...

  • Farming outside the box

    Farming outside the box

    For some years now an increasing number of people worldwide are finding the conventional system of how we produce food to be unsustainable and at crisis point. People in their teens, 20s, and 30s today live under the shadow of climate change,...

  • Grey water recycling system, green roof project at Mcast

    Grey water recycling system, green roof project at Mcast

    A grey water recycling system and a green roof have been installed at the Institute of Applied Science of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, Paola. Grey water collected from the washhand basins of the institute’s five-story...

  • Pesticides may be leading to shortage of crop pollinators

    Pesticides may be leading to shortage of crop pollinators

    Evidence is mounting that widely-used pesticides harm moths, butterflies and birds, as well as bees, adding to concerns crop production could be hit by a shortage of pollinators, according to a report drawn up for EU policymakers. The European...

  • Every bird shot in spring is one nest less

    Every bird shot in spring is one nest less

    There a many reasons for voting no in next Saturday’s referendum, one of the main ones being that those who do not hunt want to be able to visit the countryside at the best time of the year without feeling threatened by the presence of thousands...

  • Gibbons studied for language clues

    Gibbons studied for language clues

    Scientists are fathoming out the secret language of funky gibbons. The Asian apes are renowned for their loud musical songs, but also produce distinctive soft calls known as ‘hoos’. Now new research has shown that they use these whispers to...

  • Sardine numbers plummet in US

    Plummeting sardine populations could lead to a complete ban on harvesting the small oily fish off the US West Coast starting later this year, officials with the Pacific Fishery Management Council said. Decimated by overfishing, sardine numbers in...

  • The shape of towns to come

    The shape of towns to come

    The needs of a growing population inevitably lead to an increase in urbanisation. Malta is no exception. Indeed, in an island where space is at a premium, it’s no easy task to strike a happy medium between creating more homes and improving the...

  • Our feathered friends

    Our feathered friends

    Occasionally, a happy flock of sparrows visits my veranda. They flit around searching for food. Now I know that sparrows are not exactly exotic birds by any means but I find these little creatures very entertaining to watch. Which explains why I’m...

  • App and down the nature trail

    App and down the nature trail

    Nature and technology don’t usually hold hands. Picture it: you’re enjoying your Sunday afternoon walk in the countryside. Birds are chirping, shadows are chasing little furry things in the undergrowth and you’re on your way to breaking the record...

  • Trees of life

    Trees of life

    First organised in 2011, the European Tree of the Year was inspired by the Tree of the Year contest organised in the Czech Republic by the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation. The main aim of the European Tree of the Year contest is to...

  • The economic cost of climate change

    The economic cost of climate change

    The Global Environment Change ConferenceGodfrey Baldacchino and Charles Galdies There are clear economic and labour market impacts associated with global environmental change. How are these impacts nuanced on small island states and territories...

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