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Environment

  • Tree-planting

    Tree-planting

    A group of schoolchildren from the Maria Regina College Mellieħa Primary School recently helped to plant over 200 oak and pine trees at Rdum tal-Madonna, Mellieħa, sponsored by Bank of Valletta in collaboration with the Environment Ministry. The...

  • Songbirds ‘show speech sensitivity’

    Songbirds ‘show speech sensitivity’

    Songbirds can be trained to understand non-language aspects of human speech, a study has found. Scientists showed that zebra finches are even more sensitive to “prosodic” variations, such as changes in the pitch, volume and duration of spoken...

  • Climate affects butterfly colour

    Climate affects butterfly colour

    Climate change has led to a `lightening up of butterflies and dragonflies in Europe, a study has found. Warmer temperatures have caused lighter-coloured species to out-compete darker varieties in many regions, the research shows. Scientists...

  • Rock buns anyone?

    Rock buns anyone?

    One would have thought there are few issues that capture the public’s attention more than those concerning public health and possible contamination of the food chain. And yet, this country seems to buck the trend when it comes to the environment,...

  • Successful Med-Jellyrisk conference

    Successful Med-Jellyrisk conference

    A two-day Med-Jellyrisk conference on the impact of jellyfish blooms on coastal tourism and aquaculture and on the range of innovative tools being developed to address the phenomenon was organised by the International Ocean Institute-Malta...

  • Young Reporters for the Environment experience a mission in Portugal

    Young Reporters for the Environment experience a mission in Portugal

    With a notepad in one hand, a pen in the other and a camera thrown over the shoulder, 18 youths aged between 14 and 20 recently set off on a mission to observe new lands, investigate and analyse controversial environmental issues, as well as...

  • M106 – a large spiral galaxy

    M106 – a large spiral galaxy

    Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) constellation lies a galaxy called M106 discovered in 1781 by the French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Over two centuries later, powerful telescopes and cameras manage to capture the galaxy in all its...

  • Blue potato bush

    Blue potato bush

    The blue potato bush is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the nightshade family. Also known as the Paraguay nightshade or the blue lycianthes, it is an evergreen bush with beautiful blue-violet or violet flowers. It is native to Brazil,...

  • Good business sense

    Good business sense

    Generation Awake – the European movement for smart consumers – aims to raise awareness on the importance of using more innovative and resource-efficient business models and optimal management of waste to sustain a greener economy. A number of...

  • Deep soil ‘poses carbon threat’

    Deep soil ‘poses carbon threat’

    Deeply buried organic soil rich in ancient carbon from fire ash and vegetation poses a previously unrecognised greenhouse gas threat, say scientists. Disturbance of the soils through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human...

  • China to take 5m old cars off the roads

    China plans to take more than five million ageing vehicles off its roads this year in a bid to improve air quality, with 330,000 cars set to be decommissioned in Beijing alone, the government said in a policy document published...

  • Project to map Malta’s seabed habitats

    Project to map Malta’s seabed habitats

    Marine caves, sand banks and reefs around the Malta are being studied as part of a €1.3 million four-year (2013-2017) project entitled Benthic Habitat Research for Marine Natura 2000 Site Designation (Bahar), funded by the EU under the Life+...

  • Politics of bluefin tuna in Malta

    A paper entitled ‘The Politics of Bluefin Tuna in Malta’ by Dr Michael Briguglio, who lectures at the University’s Sociology Department, has been published in the international peer-reviewed academic journal Annuals of Marine Sociology. The paper...

  • Preserving environmental activism’s first records

    Preserving environmental activism’s first records

    A budding naturalist with an empty Horlicks jar collects stick insects and writes down his observations for posterity. Another ardent fan of nature observes how bats negotiate the man-made environment as they struggle to return to their roost – a...

  • Meet the olinguito

    Meet the olinguito

    A secretive tree-living carnivore from the cloud forests of the Andes heads this year’s top 10 list of newly discovered species. The olinguito, from Columbia and Ecuador, is the first new carnivorous mammal described in the Western hemisphere in...

  • European nightjar

    European nightjar

    The European nightjar is a regular spring and autumn migrant but do not expect to see it unless you look for it between dusk and dawn. During the day, nightjars rest on the ground, usually in a shaded area underneath a bush or on a tree branch.

  • Bracing for jellyfish this summer

    Bracing for jellyfish this summer

    The International Ocean Institute-Malta Operational Centre (IOI-MOC) at the University is coordinating the organisation of a Med-Jellyrisk conference on Tuesday and training seminar on Wednesday at the Corinthia St George’s Hotel in St Julian’s.

  • EU expected to beat 2020 climate change targets

    EU expected to beat 2020 climate change targets

    The EU will cut its carbon emissions in 2020 by a bigger margin than it has pledged it would under UN climate change treaties, a meeting of the bloc’s environment ministers was told. “Europe will be overachieving in 2020,” Hans Bruyninckx,...

  • Tropical cyclones packing more punch further from the equator

    Tropical cyclones packing more punch further from the equator

    People in heavily populated Pacific and Indian Ocean coastal regions beyond the tropics should take heed, US scientists said, because tropical cyclones increasingly are packing their biggest punch farther from the equator. Over the past 30 years,...

  • Floating sails

    Floating sails

    In recent weeks there were several reports of large numbers of Velella velella floating close to the shore in several parts of Malta and Gozo. I also read about large numbers invading the sea in southern Italy. I had been seeing small numbers of...

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