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Environment

  • 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...

  • Many natural World Heritage sites threatened by oil, mining – report

    Many natural World Heritage sites threatened by oil, mining – report

    Almost a third of natural World Heritage sites are threatened by mining and oil exploration, according to a report that said companies and investors face reputational and legal risks by backing such activities. As many as 70 out of the 229 natural...

  • The giant reed

    The giant reed

    The giant reed is an impressive grass that grows in large clumps in damp soils. In the Maltese islands it is very common along valley bottoms. It is probably native to the Eastern Mediterranean, parts of Africa and the Southern Arabian Peninsula...

  • King crabs ‘could invade Antarctic’

    King crabs ‘could invade Antarctic’

    King crabs may be poised to conquer the Antarctic as a result of global warming, scientists have warned. The creatures could soon be disturbing delicately balanced Antarctic marine ecosystems, where they have not played a role in tens of millions...

  • Melanin discovery helps scientists determine colour of extinct bats

    Melanin discovery helps scientists determine colour of extinct bats

    The original colour of a fossil mammal which soared above the earth 50 million years ago has been discovered by scientists for the first time. Researchers combined morphological, experimental and chemical techniques to determine the colour of two...

  • Emissions control for shipping

    Emissions control for shipping

    Dust is an all too familiar topic at the end of a hot dry summer. Dust particles, or soot if it comes from combustion, is more than just a nuisance. This particulate matter (PM as scientists call it) can cause the air to appear hazy when present...

  • Tonight’s lunar eclipse

    Tonight’s lunar eclipse

    Tonight, or rather, in the early hours of tomorrow, the full moon will move right into the Earth’s shadow for sky watchers in Malta and the rest of the world (except far eastern regions like Australia and Japan). A brilliant full moon will rise in...

  • University of Malta aims for the stars

    University of Malta aims for the stars

    The University of Malta is working to be­come a significant element in key inter­national scientific research in the construction of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA, considered one of the world’s most exciting international science...

  • Honey buzzards

    Honey buzzards

    At this time of year, tens of thousands of European honey buzzards are heading south, to the wintering grounds in Africa. West European populations migrate over Spain and cross to Africa at the Strait of Gibraltar. Birds that breed further east...

  • Leonardo DiCaprio joins growing movement to divest from fossil fuels

    Leonardo DiCaprio joins growing movement to divest from fossil fuels

    Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has joined more than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals who have promised to divest from fossil fuels, as new research showed they hold total assets of $2.6 trillion. The report by investment experts reveals...

  • Time to sue governments for climate inaction? Dutch lawyer thinks so

    Time to sue governments for climate inaction? Dutch lawyer thinks so

    In December the UN Climate Conference takes place in Paris. Ahead of the summit, some reports show the ability of humans to change the landscape of the planet Citizens should launch lawsuits against governments that shirk their climate change...

  • Lake Powell’s receding waters show risk of US ‘megadrought’

    Lake Powell’s receding waters show risk of US ‘megadrought’

    Where the Colorado River falls from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains into the arid US Southwest, lies Lake Powell. More than 150 metres deep in places and with narrow side canyons, the shoreline of the lake is longer than the entire West Coast of...

  • Can new climate finance numbers clear fog around $100 billion goal?

    New figures due out in early October are expected to show how much funding to help developing states address climate change needs to be drummed up to meet a 2020 pledge of $100 billion a year, dispersing the fog surrounding the numbers. The...

  • Arctic sea ice melts to fourth lowest level

    Arctic sea ice has melted to the fourth lowest levels on record, reinforcing the long-term downward trend in ice cover in the polar region, scientists said. The extent of the ice at the end of the annual summer melt shrank to close to low levels...

  • There was once Burmarrad…

    There was once Burmarrad…

    You might have thought that things could not get any worse for the former hamlet of Burmarrad… a burgeoning vehicle-leasing outlet, car spare parts strewn over fields and a traffic-congested arterial road slashing through its heart. But we were...

  • The sea squill

    The sea squill

    The sea squill, għansar in Maltese, is a perennial plant that flowers at the end of summer when few if any other plants are in bloom. This species of squill is found in all countries of the Mediterranean and despite its name, it is not restricted...

  • A crisis in the oceans

    A crisis in the oceans

    Marine mammals, birds, fish and reptile populations have almost halved since 1970, according to a report which is a ‘wake-up call’ to tackle the crisis in the world’s oceans. The study by conservation group WWF and the Zoological Society of London...

  • Global temperatures to start rising again soon

    Global temperatures to start rising again soon

    The world is likely to see a return to rapid warming in the next couple of years, scientists said, in what could signal the end of the ‘pause’ in rising global temperatures. Experts said big changes were under way in the earth’s climate system,...

  • Managing Natura 2000 network

    Managing Natura 2000 network

    Long-term survival of the most valuable species in Europe rests on a network of existing nature reserves and open land which is often privately owned, where threatened flora and fauna happen to have their habitats. In Malta, a number of different...

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