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Environment

  • The plant-eating leaf beetles

    The plant-eating leaf beetles

    The leaf beetles are plant-eating insects that form the family Chrysomelidae. There are about known 37,000 species in this family although entomologists believe there are still another 13,000 waiting to be discovered. About 60 species have been...

  • Threats to Coral Reef

    Threats to Coral Reef

    Parts of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef face permanent destruction if the current El Niño, one of the strongest in two decades, does not ease this month, scientists said yesterday. The El Niño is a result of a warming of the ocean in the western...

  • The sand crocuses of Malta – a puzzle solved

    The sand crocuses of Malta – a puzzle solved

    Botanist studies the local population of the brightly-coloured sand crocuses that are starting to flower at this time of year, especially in rocky garigue areas During the months of February and March, the Maltese countryside is adorned with...

  • Tweaking boundaries for quarries

    Tweaking boundaries for quarries

    Donald Trump aims to seriously disable the US environment protection agency if elected. Here in Malta we seem to be one step ahead as regulations and standards achieved after many years of hard work are quietly unravelled without fuss. On the one...

  • Planets in the morning skies

    Planets in the morning skies

    March is the month for king planet Jupiter. During the second week of the month, Jupiter will be directly opposite the sun in our solar system, as it reaches the position known as ‘opposition’ on March 8. It will then, like all other planets,...

  • Sea levels could rise by up to 120cm by end of century

    Sea levels could rise by up to 120cm by end of century

    Global sea levels rose faster in the 20th century than at any time in the previous 2,700 years, research has shown. Without the global warming, sea levels might actually have fallen in the last 100 years, scientists believe. Instead they are said...

  • Kaptan on board

    Kaptan on board

    Sea farers, divers and windsurfers around the Maltese islands and southern Sicily have a new app to help them plan their journeys and ensure safer trips. The smartphone application called Kaptan, Maltese for ‘captain’, leads users to various sea...

  • Nature photography exhibition

    Nature photography exhibition

    The University library foyer is currently hosting an exhibition of photographs taken by students of impressive Sicilian landscapes characterised by gorges, waterfalls, lakes and streams, a variety of fauna including butterflies, dragonflies,...

  • Research on introducing green, sustainable A-level chemistry

    Research on introducing green, sustainable A-level chemistry

    The introduction and impact of green and sustainable chemistry in the A-level chemistry curri­culum was the subject of a doc­toral thesis by Mario Fenech Caruana for a Ph.D in Science Education he was awarded by the University of York. His...

  • Ramblers savour Gozitan delights and other trails

    Ramblers savour Gozitan delights and other trails

    Scenic routes through some of the finest and most exhilarating countryside and coastal zones are laid out during a Gozo weekend next month for members of the Ramblers’ Association. The routes chosen encompass the length and breadth of Malta’s...

  • We should learn to say NO to 6,814 developers

    We should learn to say NO to 6,814 developers

    The numbers that environmental NGOs have long feared have finally come out. The Malta Environment and Planning Authority received a whopping 6,814 requests for the inclusion of additional plots of land in the soon-to-be-redrawn development...

  • Study on box jellyfish in local yacht marinas

    Study on box jellyfish in local yacht marinas

    New light has been shed on the population dynamics and genetics of the Mediterranean box jellyfish (Carybdea marsupialis) in various local yacht marinas by a dissertation study by Kristian Pulis, a Master’s student at the University’s Department...

  • GM Zika mosquitos and climate change extremism

    GM Zika mosquitos and climate change extremism

    Rachel Carson must be turning in her grave. What would the Silent Spring author have said about the news that a revival of a widely-banned insecticide to fight the Zika virus mosquito is being considered in some quarters? Microcephaly, a...

  • Appreciating fumitories

    Appreciating fumitories

    The fumitories are annual flowering plants native to temperate Europe and Asia though some species are found in North and South America and Australia. Several species are found in the Maltese islands but as they tend to be very similar to the...

  • 1970s pollution could still cause deaths today

    1970s pollution could still cause deaths today

    While Malta has made substantial progress in cutting harmful material in the atmosphere, it still exceeded certain limits set by the EU and the WHO Pollution pumped out into the air decades ago could still be causing deaths today, a study...

  • Children of mothers exposed to traffic pollution are far ‘more prone to asthma’

    Children of mothers exposed to traffic pollution are far ‘more prone to asthma’

    Children whose mothers were exposed to traffic pollution during pregnancy may be more likely to develop asthma before the age of five, research suggests. A study in the European Respiratory Journal of more than 65,000 children is one of the...

  • Why the long face?

    Why the long face?

    Horses can read human facial expressions, according to British research. For the first time, it has been found that horses are able to distinguish between angry and happy faces. Psychologists at the University of Sussex studied how 28 horses...

  • Europe’s shift to dark green forests stokes global warming

    Europe’s shift to dark green forests stokes global warming

    Nations worldwide are urged to rethink policies favouring forest planting as all the horrors of climate change start to bite. There’s no room for failure. An expansion of Europe’s forests towards dark green conifers has stoked global warming,...

  • Antarctica study team unveils ‘troubling’ sea level findings

    Antarctica study team unveils ‘troubling’ sea level findings

    The loss of ice in Antarctica caused by a warming ocean could raise global sea levels by three metres, according to researchers. Scientists have been carrying out fieldwork in the region to assess the landscape and determine how the West Antarctic...

  • Bird experts highlight deforestation rates in important wildlife sites worldwide

    An area of forest almost the size of Scotland has been lost from important wildlife sites worldwide in just over a decade, research suggests. Satellite imagery was used to assess the loss of forests from 7,279 “important bird and biodiversity...

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