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Environment

  • African elephant threatened

    African elephant threatened

    Poaching is inflicting unsustainable losses on African elephants, with more than 33,600 animals killed each year between 2010 and 2012, a study has shown. Over that period alone, an estimated 6.8 per cent of the continent’s elephant population was...

  • A brief study on street trees

    A brief study on street trees

    Greening is generally understood to be the process of transforming a space, lifestyle or brand image into a more environmentally-friendly version (such as greening your home or greening your office). The wider act of greening often involves...

  • Humans causing glacier retreat

    Humans causing glacier retreat

    Man-made greenhouse gas emissions have become the dominant cause of melting in glaciers from the Alps to the Andes that is raising world sea levels, a study said. Human emissions accounted for an estimated 69 percent of loss of ice from glaciers...

  • Tibet’s glaciers at their warmest in 2,000 years

    The Tibetan plateau, whose glaciers supply water to hundreds of millions of people in Asia, were warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the past two millennia, a Chinese newspaper said, citing an academic report. Temperatures and...

  • The fig tree

    The fig tree

    The fig tree is synonymous with the Mediterranean area even though it is originally from the Middle East and western Asia. Along with the grape vine and olive tree, the fig tree was one of the first trees to be domesticated. Its cultivation marked...

  • Yawning contagious among apes too

    Yawning can be as contagious between bonobos as it is among people, suggesting that the apes are capable of human-like empathy. Over five years, scientists compared yawning behaviour in humans and bonobos, a cousin of the chimpanzee said to be the...

  • As air travel grows, so will fuel emissions

    As air travel grows, so will fuel emissions

    Efforts to reduce aviation carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be outweighed by the growth in air passengers, according to research. Plane ticket prices would need to rise by at least 1.4 per cent a year for emission levels to fall, the research...

  • Scientists store energy in used cigarette filters

    Scientists store energy in used cigarette filters

    Scientists in South Korea say they have found a way of converting used cigarette butts into a material capable of storing energy that could help power everything from mobile phones to electric cars. In a study published in the journal...

  • Quake watch

    Quake watch

    Four weak earthquakes struck close to Malta during July. Three occurred along the Malta graben, about 30 to 40 kilometres southwest of Malta (red stars on map), on July 9, 14 and 15. Another earthquake struck close to Sicily along the Malta...

  • Mitigating geological hazards between Malta and Sicily

    Representatives from five Maltese and Sicilian organisations that are partners in a project entitled ‘Establishment of an integrated system of Italo-Maltese Civil Protection’ (SIMIT), met in Catania, Sicily, in July to discuss the progress of...

  • Your own beach living room

    Your own beach living room

    Beach concession operators seem to always conceive innovative ways as to how to best utilise the restricted sandy swathes on these islands. For instance, hordes of sofas have recently been placed at Armier, and a handful of other beaches,...

  • Migratory waders

    Migratory waders

    Several trapping sites which were being used to catch waders were found earlier this week. Some of the trapping sites were very large and sophisticated. They included areas of water to create the aquatic habitat favoured by birds as well as bird...

  • Bees spot best flowers from afar

    Like discerning shoppers checking out vegetables on display in a supermarket, bumblebees can spot the best quality flowers from a distance, a study has shown. They are able to link differences in pollen quality with floral features such as petal...

  • A lunar anniversary

    A lunar anniversary

    Last month, mankind celebrated the 45th anniversary of the first lunar landing. American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface. Their mission was followed by five more successful...

  • Geo-engineering dilemma

    Geo-engineering dilemma

    Shifting the blame for climate change and global warming from man-made carbon dioxide emissions to the ‘spraying of poisonous chemicals by civilian aircraft’ is a criminal way of dodging responsibility for the challenges now facing our...

  • 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...

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