Advert

Environment

  • Yes, we can save the planet – or can we?

    Yes, we can save the planet – or can we?

    On August 3, President Barack Obama unveiled a plan by the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to cut carbon emissions from American power stations, the country’s main driver of climate change. Calling for a 32 per cent cut on carbon dioxide...

  • Alien species in Maltese waters

    Alien species in Maltese waters

    Discoveries of new species in Maltese waters often turn out to be records of non-native (or ‘alien’) species, that is, species that do not occur naturally in local waters but were directly or indirectly introduced here through human...

  • Birdsong app reveals stereotypes

    Analysis shows that Brits don’t notice the weather, Germans talk too loudly and Swedes enjoy the great outdoors. Specialist nature app developers iSpiny weren’t expecting to uncover national stereotypes when they analysed the recordings sent in...

  • Armed and dangerous

    Armed and dangerous

    Scientists have unlocked the genetic secrets of one of earth’s underwater wonders – the octopus – whose eight sucker-studded arms bestow an otherworldly appearance and large brain place it among the smartest invertebrates. Researchers have...

  • Pacific striped octopus displays ‘incredibly unique’ hunting behaviour

    Pacific striped octopus displays ‘incredibly unique’ hunting behaviour

    Hunting for food is a pantomime for a species of octopus that reaches out and taps its prey on the shoulder. The tropical cephalopod may not utter the words “behind you” but startles the victim so much it becomes lunch. Professor Roy Caldwell,...

  • Insect sounds

    Insect sounds

    Insects, despite their small size, can produce surprisingly loud sounds. At this time of the year the most notable insect sound is the loud buzzing made by the cicada which can be heard throughout the day and occasionally at night. The cicada got...

  • Stripes ‘do not protect zebras from predators’

    Stripes ‘do not protect zebras from predators’

    A zebra’s stripes are unlikely to protect it from pursuing predators, contrary to the view of most experts, research has shown. Humans playing the part of predators in a computerised chase game showed they could “capture” striped targets more...

  • Tadpole disease threatens world frog populations

    Tadpole disease threatens world frog populations

    Tadpoles are contracting a new, highly infectious disease that may be threatening frog populations worldwide, British scientists have found. A parasitic disease caused by single-celled microbes known as “protists” was found in the livers of...

  • Rivers hit by orange-coloured toxic mine waste spill

    Townspeople watching millions of litres of orange-coloured mine waste flow through their communities have demanded clarity about possible long-term threats to their water supply. Colorado and New Mexico made disaster declarations for stretches of...

  • Malta hosts international conference on Med geo risks

    ‘Geo risks in the Mediterranean and their mitigation’ was the theme of a two-day international conference hosted by the University at its Valletta campus. Close to a hundred participants from 14 countries in Europe and North Africa came together...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    Seven earthquakes took place off the coast of Birżebbuġa between July 29 and 30 (inset map, overlapping red stars). The largest quake had a magnitude of 3.3 on the Richter Scale, and was felt in a number of villages in the south. Over 80 reports...

  • Applied geophysics experience in Santa Fe

    Applied geophysics experience in Santa Fe

    Daniela Farrugia, a PhD student at the University’s Department of Geosciences, attended the Summer of Applied Geophysical Experience (Sage), a four-week course hosted by the National Security Education Centre and the Earth and Environmental...

  • Paper wasps

    Paper wasps

    Summer in Malta is a difficult time for nature. The high temperatures and lack of rainfall dry up all surface water and, except for a small number of springs, there are no natural aquatic habitats. The only open water is found in man-made...

  • Fish ‘swimming faster, evading capture in nets’

    Fish may be evolving to swim faster and evade capture in trawler nets, according to research. Scientists at the University of Glasgow found that fitter fish are better at evading nets and believe that, over time, it could lead to physiological...

  • Fight to save the Indonesian jungle may be key for endangered apes

    Fight to save the Indonesian jungle may be key for endangered apes

    The bushes shook violently and the female orangutan froze. Her baby clutched her tightly before the two quickly disappeared into the Borneo undergrowth. As the bushes parted, a broad-shouldered male orangutan strutted to the feeding...

  • Can we save forests and produce palm oil? Scientists seek answers

    Can we save forests and produce palm oil? Scientists seek answers

    Despite promises by many big companies that produce, trade and use palm oil to clean up their supply chains, complaints are still pouring in over the conversion of forests into plantations from West Africa to Southeast Asia, experts say. A...

  • Drought-hit forests store ‘less carbon dioxide than thought’

    Drought-hit forests store ‘less carbon dioxide than thought’

    The world’s forests are taking longer than expected to recover from increasingly frequent droughts, meaning their ability to store climate-changing carbon dioxide is smaller than previously thought, Utah University researchers said. If forests are...

  • Earth systems graduate showcase

    Earth systems graduate showcase

    An event organised by the University of Malta’s Institute of Earth Systems last month provided a pano­ramic snapshot of aspects of the environment through some of its undergraduate research work. The earth systems approach goes beyond traditional...

  • Earth’s orbit around the sun is not so circular

    Earth’s orbit around the sun is not so circular

    Make hay while the sun shines, they say. But contrary to what may seem logical, the summer heat is on not when the earth is closest to the sun, but rather, when it is furthest away! In fact, the phenomenon of the seasons has very little to do with...

  • Maltese sixth formers at Swiss wildlife research week

    Two sixth formers from De La Salle College, Vittoriosa, participated in an International Wildlife Research Week organised by Swiss Youth in Science (SYiS) foundation. Martina-Marie Pizzuto and Francesco Pavia took part in the event in Switzerland...

Advert
Advert