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Environment

  • 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...

  • Southern Ocean soaks up more CO2

    Southern Ocean soaks up more CO2

    The vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica has started to soak up more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere in recent years, helping limit climate change, after signs its uptake had stalled, a study has said. The Southern Ocean’s natural absorption...

  • The fennel-like rock samphire

    The fennel-like rock samphire

    The rock samphire is a perennial plant found growing along the coast in places influenced directly by sea spray where few other species manage to survive. It is found in many parts of coastal Europe, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea...

  • Ecologist to monitor Star Wars filming on world heritage site

    Ecologist to monitor Star Wars filming on world heritage site

    An ecologist has been given the power to shout “cut” on the filming of the latest Star Wars movie. One of Ireland’s Unesco world heritage sites – the sea crag of Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry – has been opened for a second time to let...

  • While everyone is looking at Żonqor…

    While everyone is looking at Żonqor…

    Over the course of the past six months, Żonqor has become a household mainstay due to the raging controversy surrounding the development of a university campus earmarked for the site, such that the issue has monopolised the country’s environmental...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    Following the earthquake felt locally on July 30, at least six more quakes struck during August in the same area, very close to Malta’s southern coast (inset map, red stars). These earthquakes had a magnitude of less than two. No felt reports were...

  • Real-time quake monitoring system installed at university

    Real-time quake monitoring system installed at university

    The Seismic Monitoring Research Group (SMRG) of the University of Malta’s Department of Geosciences has installed a state-of-the-art, real-time, earthquake monitoring software called SeisComp. The system is configured to acquire data from seismic...

  • European scouts’ Farm2Fork youth exchange held in Malta

    European scouts’ Farm2Fork youth exchange held in Malta

    Thirty-two Rover scouts from Malta, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Spain took part in a week-long camp in Malta and Gozo as part of an Erasmusplus youth exchange project entitled Farm2Fork. Project manager Josmar Azzopardi said the project went...

  • ‘Fewer trees than ever’

    ‘Fewer trees than ever’

    Earth is home to just over three trillion trees – the redwoods of California, the olive trees of Tunisia, the cherry trees of Japan, the eucalyptus of Australia and so many more – but they are being lost at an alarming rate because of human...

  • Carbon dioxide emissions from tourism 'to increase by more than 300%'

    Carbon dioxide emissions from tourism 'to increase by more than 300%'

    Carbon dioxide emissions from global tourism could increase by more than 300 per cent by the end of the century, research suggests. The study found the majority of the predicted increase in greenhouse gases associated with tourism between 2010 and...

  • El Ñiño ‘to be among the strongest since 1950’

    The current El Ñiño weather pattern may be on track to become one of the strongest in more than half a century, according to experts at the World Meteorological Organisation. The El Ñiño event involves a shift in winds in the Pacific Ocean along...

  • Barack Obama hikes to melting Alaska glacier to sound climate change warning

    Barack Obama hikes to melting Alaska glacier to sound climate change warning

    US President Barack Obama stared down a melting glacier in Alaska in a dramatic use of his presidential pulpit to sound the alarm on climate change. From a distance, Exit Glacier appears as a river of white and blue flowing down through the...

  • Thirsty Middle East faces worsening water stress

    Thirsty Middle East faces worsening water stress

    Nearly half of 33 countries expected to face extremely high water stress by 2040 are in the Middle East, where surface water is limited and demand is high, said experts who ranked 167 nations. Thirteen Middle Eastern countries and the Palestinian...

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