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Environment

  • A ‘magical’ wild flower that blooms in sun-parched land

    A ‘magical’ wild flower that blooms in sun-parched land

    One does not expect to see many wild flowers at this time of the year. The sun-parched soil cannot provide plants with much, if any, water that is essential for life; but the wavy-leaved mullein is one of the few exceptions. This plant is...

  • Hummingbirds see the world differently

    Hummingbirds see the world differently

    Hummingbirds have a unique collision avoidance system built into their brains that allows them to perform high-speed aerobatics in safety, research has shown. The super-agile birds, whose wings beat up to 70 times a second, can hover, fly...

  • ‘Up where the air is crisp’

    ‘Up where the air is crisp’

    A sea of stone and bricks laps at the fringes of our green areas. In the month of June alone, 140 planning applications were filed for areas outside the development zone. Developers are quick to claim that building upward would put the brakes on...

  • Missing the wood for the trees

    Missing the wood for the trees

    It was recently reported that the attendant of an improvised car park at the Gianpula entertainment complex, limits of Żebbuġ, was making a hefty sum each weekend, running in the thousands by his own admission, despite allegedly not paying the...

  • Solaqua floating solar panels project nears completion

    Solaqua floating solar panels project nears completion

    In small countries like Malta or in large coastal cities it is difficult to find adequate areas to build large solar farms. The University of Mal­ta’s Solaqua floating solar panels project was aimed precisely at studying and testing the technical...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    During June, most of the largest global earthquakes struck in the Pacific and Indian oceans. No casualties were reported in any of the quakes. All the epicentres, except the one in Kyrgyzstan, lie on the ‘Ring of Fire’. Kyrgyzstan lies in the...

  • The gourd ladybird

    The gourd ladybird

    Many species of animals and plants are closely linked together. In some cases the relationship benefits one species only while, in others, both species benefit from the relationship. This often means that if one species had to disappear, the other...

  • Why nature knows best

    Why nature knows best

    Next time you drive past a roadside verge take a close look. Do any wild flowers grow there? Has that little patch of nature escaped the attention of men with motorised scythes (or herbicides) often seen in use on our highways and byways? If you...

  • Summer nights planetary parade in July

    Summer nights planetary parade in July

    Any casual look at the evening night sky around this time will show a very bright orange ‘star’ to the south. That is the planet Mars which has been drawing closer to the Earth throughout spring. Past its closest point, just around the time of its...

  • Wied Għollieqa clean-up

    Wied Għollieqa clean-up

    Students studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, together with lecturer Eman Calleja spent half a day doing conservation work at Wied Għollieqa Nature Reserve, managed by Nature...

  • Ozone layer over Antarctica on the mend

    Ozone layer over Antarctica on the mend

    The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica appears to be healing, say scientists. Recovery of the hole has varied from year to year, partly because of the effects of volcanic eruptions. Now after taking account of volcanic influence, scientists...

  • Will Gozitans be listened to?

    Will Gozitans be listened to?

    It’s been a long wait, 14 years to be precise, but finally the recommendation from the Planning Directorate regarding application PA 03798/02 for the proposed development of a destination port, comprising a hotel, yacht marina and a tourist...

  • EU greenhouse gas emissions drop nearly a quarter since 1990 – EAA

    Greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union have fallen by almost a quarter since 1990, official figures show. Emissions fell 4.1 per cent in 2014, the most recent year of data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This was...

  • Brexit environmental barometer

    Brexit environmental barometer

    The fate of Britain this week will be decided on many issues but it is the environment that is central to the British quality of life. An environmental impact assessment on Britain’s exit from the European Union was under way well before the...

  • Malta at Jellyfish Bloom Symposium

    Malta at Jellyfish Bloom Symposium

    Alan Deidun from the Univerisity of Malta’s Department of Geosciences and coordinator of the Spot the Jellyfish campaign participated in the fifth edition of the International Jellyfish Bloom Symposium at the Barcelona Aquarium, Spain. He...

  • Maltese students impress at YRE international competition

    Maltese students impress at YRE international competition

    Julia Scerri, from St Monica School, Gżira, and Kurt Micallef from St Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, both placed second in the international Young Reporters for the Environment photography category, in the 11-14 and 15-18 age groups...

  • Environmental recognition for 47 schools

    Environmental recognition for 47 schools

    Internationally-recognised environmental awards were recently presented to 47 local schools in a ceremony organised by Nature Trust (Malta) and presided over by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca at the Palace, Valletta. The Ekoskola green flag...

  • Ekoskola session in Parliament

    Ekoskola session in Parliament

    Eighty-four students from 42 schools involved in the Ekoskola programme attended a parliamentary session to propose concrete actions to combat climate change to MPs from both sides of the House. The recommendations included measures to promote...

  • Coral reefs ‘can survive’

    Coral reefs ‘can survive’

    Surprising “bright spots” where coral reefs are flourishing against the odds despite overfishing and environmental pressure have given new hope to conservationists. Experts believe they could shine a light on better ways to protect embattled coral...

  • Give beaches a break in summer

    Give beaches a break in summer

    With each bathing season we get the usual agonising reports of heavy machinery being used on beaches, mainly to clear deposits of dead Posidonia oceanica (a seagrass, not a seaweed) litter or to bury mounds of pebbles lest they interfere with...

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