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Environment

  • Deforestation in the Amazon up by 28%

    Deforestation in the Amazon increased by nearly a third over the past year, according to Brazilian government figures, confirming a feared reversal in what had been steady progress over the past decade against destruction of the world’s largest...

  • Hot, sour and breathless

    Greenhouse gases are making the world’s oceans hot, sour and breathless, and the way those changes work together is creating a grimmer outlook for global waters, according to a report from 540 international scientists. The world’s oceans are...

  • 2013 so far seventh hottest year

    This year is the seventh warmest since records began in 1850, with a trend to weather extremes and the impact of storms such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines aggravated by rising sea levels, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said. A...

  • ‘Plain’ but beautiful

    The past week was marked by the arrival in the Maltese islands of a non-resident butterfly – the plain tiger or, as it is sometimes known, the African monarch. The plain tiger is widespread and common in Africa and Asia, as well as on most of the...

  • Climate deal hopes fade

    World governments are likely to recoil from plans for an ambitious 2015 climate change deal at talks this week, as concern over economic growth is at least partially eclipsing scientists’ warnings of rising temperatures and water levels. “We are...

  • Disturbing new facts about noise

    Noise pollution is hardly an issue that can be described as unheard of in Malta. The summer months bring loud complaints from residents suffering a barrage of festa petards, which can go on week after week, depending on the locality. Add to this...

  • Earthquake hits Crete’s west coast

    Despite the fact that the earthquake that shook the west coast of Crete and many parts in Greece on October 12 was relatively strong, registering magnitude 6.4 on the Richter scale, no damage was reported. In Malta, the earthquake was recorded by...

  • Call for real-time sharing of Med seismic data

    The importance of real-time sharing of seismic data from stations all around the Mediterranean as an effective earthquake and tsunami early-warning system was highlighted by Maltese delegates at the annual meeting of the Reduction of Earthquake...

  • IOI-MOC presentations of its oceanographic work

    Academic staff from the International Ocean Institute-Malta Operational Centre (IOI-MOC) at the University of Malta recently gave six presentations on various aspects of its oceanographic work during the 40th edition of CIESM, the flagship...

  • Twin quakes in Chile, Taiwan

    Two magnitude 6.6 earthquakes struck Chile and Taiwan on October 31, but no deaths or damage were reported. The quake off the Chilean coast was centered 56km southwest of Coquimbo at a depth of 11km, the US Geological Survey reported. There were...

  • The flesh-eating flies

    The flesh fly is one of over 30 species of flies whose larvae live mostly on living or dead flesh. Like other species of flies, they are of medical and sanitary importance, mainly because they help in the decomposition of organic matter and cause...

  • Visions of a poorer future

    Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease are likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning...

  • Kissing ODZ goodbye – 1

    This is the first in a short series of articles in which I will delve into the implications of the proposed revision of the Outside Development Zone policies. The recently-launched proposals for the revision of ODZ policies (downloadable from...

  • Qala quarry’s illegal extension

    The massive sprawl of the Qala coastal quarry extends for a full kilometre of Gozo’s coastline and now lies less than 400m from St Anthony’s Battery. What concrete action has been taken over the illegal extension last summer of this quarry in...

  • Farewell Żeppi

    Joseph Borg, better known as Żeppi, who passed away recently, was a visionary who actively promoted and implemented organic farming in his olive grove at Fawwara.

  • Saturn – the ringed planet

    Less than a month ago, on October 10, the Cassini robotic probe was located at an excellent position above the planet Saturn. Its cameras thus shot several raw images that were assembled together by the Croat amateur astronomer Gordan Ugarkovic to...

  • Round-the-clock monitoring of the seas around Malta

    The first continuous one-year set of water column temperature values has recently been collected by the International Ocean Institute-Malta Operational Centre’s Physical Oceanography Unit (PO Unit) at the University. The data comprises a...

  • EU funds, solar tariffs and 2020

    An important deadline slipped by last month for comments from the public on Malta’s priorities for European Union funding over the coming years. This is a crucial time for decision-making as we begin our final approach toward meeting a number of...

  • European utilities urge policy reform to avert blackouts

    CEOs from 10 utilities representing half of Europe’s power-generating capacity have urged the European Union recently to adopt reforms to prevent blackouts and help the indebted sector adapt to future demand. The CEOs, who call themselves the...

  • Scheme to collect, sell used clothes for Inspire

    Green Pak Coop Society, in collaboration with 12 local councils, recently launched a clothes collection scheme in aid of Inspire Foundation, whereby residents are being invited to donate any unused or unwanted clothing items to be sold to help...

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