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Environment

  • Not seeing the wood for the trees

    Not seeing the wood for the trees

    The environmental movement, both locally and in the rest of Europe, has, in a rare show of unison, collectively given the thumbs down to Karmenu Vella’s nomination as EU Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, and to his...

  • A celestial flower – the Tulip nebula

    A celestial flower – the Tulip nebula

    A huge gaseous nebula looms along the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, in the Orion spiral arm of our galaxy and towards the constellation Cygnus – the celestial swan. This glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is known as the Tulip nebula. It...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    September was characterised by average seismicity in the Mediterranean region and across the globe. Of particular interest is the Icelandic volcano that has been erupting throughout the month. The volcanic activity also generated hundreds of...

  • The painted lady

    The painted lady

    The painted lady is a common butterfly, which is found on all continents except South America and Antarctica. It is a notable migrant and it’s not the first time tens or hundreds of thousands appear suddenly in the Maltese countryside, only to...

  • Warmer oceans ‘bleaching corals’

    Warmer oceans ‘bleaching corals’

    Scientists say warm ocean temperatures are causing large expanses of coral to bleach in the pristine reefs northwest of Hawaii’s main islands. Courtney Couch, a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, said she observed mass bleaching...

  • Global wildlife populationsdown by half since 1970

    Global wildlife populationsdown by half since 1970

    The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles fell overall by 52 per cent between 1970 and 2010, far faster than previously thought, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said yesterday. The conservation group’s Living Planet...

  • Our streets, our choice

    Our streets, our choice

    Every year, around the third week of September, people all over the world get together in streets, at intersections and on neighbourhood blocks to celebrating public space and remind the world of the alternatives to a car-dominated society. Last...

  • Colourful bee-eaters

    Colourful bee-eaters

    The colourful European bee-eater brings a touch of the tropics to the European continent. It breeds mostly in southern Europe, North Africa and western Asia but it has been recorded breeding further north including the UK and even southern Sweden.

  • UN summit sets goals to save forests and use clean energy

    UN summit sets goals to save forests and use clean energy

    A UN summit on climate change agreed to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit,...

  • 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...

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