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Environment

  • Challenges facing a mainstream agenda on urban areas in the EU

    Challenges facing a mainstream agenda on urban areas in the EU

    Foreigners often tend to see the central, built-up zone of Malta as a single urbanised area on the periphery of Europe – a minor city sprawling from Attard to Tarxien and from Pembroke to Kalkara. Yet the fierce separateness of identity in our...

  • Regional training course for coastal stakeholders

    Regional training course for coastal stakeholders

    Delegates from 15 European countries with a Mediterranean or Black Sea coast, including Malta, and Black Sea Commission reepresentatives, attended a regional stakeholder training course in Malta. The main aim was to share the measures they propose...

  • Problems of soil erosion

    Problems of soil erosion

    Soil erosion is a serious problem. Soil is not only lost, but lost soil accumulates elsewhere, causing problems. Soil and nutrients may end up in rivers and other water bodies, seriously affecting aquatic life. It takes time to replace lost soil.

  • Castor oil plant

    Castor oil plant

    The castor oil plant is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family. It is a native of East Africa and India but has been introduced to many parts of the world, including Malta. It prefers warm countries but it can also be grown in temperate...

  • One tough bird

    One tough bird

    A diet of putrid rotting flesh may not be your cup of tea but to the cinereous vulture, found across Southern Europe and Asia, it is positively delightful. This tough bird, it turns out, is genetically wired to thrive on the stuff. Researchers...

  • Canadian biodiversity

    Canadian biodiversity

    Like a rooftop garden in an overcrowded financial district, Toronto’s Leslie Street Spit is an unexpected urban oasis whose narrow escape from development has brought marshes, lagoons and forests to the centre of Canada’s largest city. Jutting...

  • Food, drink companies calling for climate action

    Food, drink companies calling for climate action

    Leading food and drink companies have come together to call for action on climate change, warning that rising temperatures threaten global food supplies. The heads of Mars, Unilever, Kellogg’s and Nestlé are among those who have signed an open...

  • The marine aliens phenomenon

    The marine aliens phenomenon

    Many eyebrows were raised when EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella recently raised the issue of invasive alien species during one of his speeches. The term ‘alien species’ is no longer challenging for...

  • Earth’s vital resource – soil

    Earth’s vital resource – soil

    Some refer to it as earth, local farmers occasionally call it dust, and others even dare calling it dirt; however, to most of us, it is just soil. Soil is that loose material on the surface of the Earth produced through centuries or even millennia...

  • The lentisk

    The lentisk

    The lentisk is an evergreen shrub or small tree indigenous to the Mediterranean including the Maltese islands. It grows in dry rocky areas even in saline environments close to the sea but it sometimes grows on the sides of valleys and canyons. The...

  • Antarctic ‘at risk by 2100’

    Antarctic ‘at risk by 2100’

    Antarctic ice is melting so fast that the stability of the whole continent could be at risk by 2100, scientists have warned. Widespread collapse of Antarctic ice shelves – floating extensions of land ice projecting into the sea – could pave the...

  • Global climate pledges are not enough but good start – European Commission

    Global climate pledges are not enough but good start – European Commission

    National pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, even if fully implemented, would cap global warming at 3˚C rather than the 2˚C targeted to avoid dangerous consequences, the European Commission said. European Climate and Energy Commissioner...

  • War and environment

    War and environment

    A silent casualty in times of war, the environment often suffers from neglect, exploitation, human desperation and deliberate abuse on a terrible scale. It was the images of hundreds of burning oil wells, torched by the retreating Iraqi army in...

  • People’s experiences of the Easter Sunday 2011 earthquake in Malta

    People’s experiences of the Easter Sunday 2011 earthquake in Malta

    An article entitled ‘The Easter Sunday 2011 earthquake swarm offshore Malta: Analysis on felt reports’ by the Seismic Monitoring and Research Group at the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences has been published in a book entitled...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    A deadly 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile’s coast on September 16. The quake was one of the biggest to strike the Earth’s surface this year. Despite the epicentre being about 50km inland, a tsunami advisory was issued for the Pacific Ocean.

  • Nature thrives in Chernobyl

    Nature thrives in Chernobyl

    Some 30 years after the world’s worst nuclear accident blasted radiation across Chernobyl, the site has evolved from a disaster zone into a nature reserve, teeming with elk, deer and wolves, scientists said. The remarkable turnaround in the area,...

  • Millions face hunger due to climate change

    Millions face hunger due to climate change

    At least 10 million poor people face hunger this year and next because of droughts and erratic rains linked to record global temperatures and an expected ‘super’ version of the evolving El Niño weather pattern, aid charity Oxfam has warned. In...

  • New Med alien discovered in local waters

    New Med alien discovered in local waters

    A punctuated or darkspotted flatworm (Maritigrella fuscopunctata) has been discovered in local waters during ongoing marine surveys by the Conservation Biology Research Group of the University’s Department of Biology. The species is a typically...

  • How ocean literate are you?

    How ocean literate are you?

    You may be excused for not knowing what the term ‘ocean literacy’ actually means, as the term only started being regularly used in Europe over the past decade. A global movement promoting ocean literacy has three over-arching goals: (i) to ensure...

  • Diesel vehicles, not only VW, ‘emitting high pollution levels’

    Diesel vehicles, not only VW, ‘emitting high pollution levels’

    High levels of pollution are being emitted by diesel vehicles built by a range of carmakers other than Volkswagen, it has been reported. New diesel cars from manufacturers including Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat and Volvo, allegedly...

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