• Short course on geology of the Mediterranean

    A six-session course on the geology of the Mediterranean basin is being offered by Malta University Consulting Ltd during April and May. The sessions will take place at the University Residence, Robert Mifsud Bonnici Street, Lija. The course will...

  • A cheaper, cleaner way to turn natural gas into fuels

    A cheaper, cleaner way to turn natural gas into fuels

    US scientists said they have devised a potentially easier, cheaper and cleaner way to turn natural gas into usable fuels and chemicals – a discovery which could lead to natural gas products displacing oil products in the future. The process would...

  • Brazilian diamond hints at vast water reserve deep inside earth

    A dirty-looking, commercially worthless brown diamond found in Brazil is yielding priceless information about the composition of a layer deep inside our planet. The diamond contained a mineral called ringwoodite that entrapped a significant amount...

  • The Persian cyclamen

    The Persian cyclamen

    The Persian cyclamen is a non-indigenous flowering plant that was introduced in the Maltese islands as a garden plant and has become naturalised in some old gardens and cemeteries. The plant is native to parts of Turkey, south to Israel and Jordan.

  • New threat to ozone layer

    New threat to ozone layer

    Four new man-made gases which contribute to destruction of the ozone layer have been identified by scientists. An estimated 74,000 tons of three chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and one hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) have been released into the...

  • Electoral manifesto vs holistic planning

    Electoral manifesto vs holistic planning

    It’s a parrot secret that when it comes to planning policies, governments are more concerned with fulfilling their electoral manifesto commitments than opting for a more judicious, holistic approach. This worn-out axiom is being played out yet...

  • Enforcement at Fawwara

    Enforcement at Fawwara

    Enforcement action is being taken concerning this illegal development in one of the most picturesque areas of Fawwara, limits of Siġġiewi.

  • Quake watch

    Quake watch

    During the first week of February, hundreds of earthquakes struck the island of Cephalonia, west of Greece. The series of shakes had started last January and included two magnitude six earthquakes and over 1,000 aftershocks of lower...

  • Earthquake fault mechanism

    Earthquake fault mechanism

    A fault is a fracture in the earth’s crust where two sides have been displaced relative to each other. During an earthquake there is a rapid release of energy that has been stored around the fault, sometimes for many years or even centuries. This...

  • Marsascala salt marsh cleaned up

    Marsascala salt marsh cleaned up

    A recent clean-up of Il-Magħluq in Marsascala resulted in the collection of over half a tonne of waste from the water surface and surrounding areas. The clean-up was coordinated by Nature Trust (Malta) and involved the participation of Marsascala...

  • Tracking shipping traffic in central Mediterranean ports

    Tracking shipping traffic in central Mediterranean ports

    An updated online shipping traffic tracker that allows users to request shipping data from the ports of Augusta and Catania in Sicily, Lampedusa and the entire Maltese territorial waters, has recently been delivered as part of the Biodivalue...

  • Beautiful but poisonous anemone

    Beautiful but poisonous anemone

    The crown anemone looks like a small, violet poppy. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region including the Maltese islands but it is not as frequent as it is claimed to be. It flowers from January to March and is found mostly in garigue and...

  • Jupiter, our shining gas giant

    Jupiter, our shining gas giant

    Look nearly overhead after sunset and you will see a very bright star – which in reality is no star at all – but rather, the planet Jupiter. Our solar system’s ruling gas giant shines brightly in the constellation Gemini. However, it will start...

  • Volunteers needed for two-day national clean-up

    Let’s Do It Malta is calling for volunteers and certified divers to take part in a large-scale, two-day national clean-up event of the islands on May 10 and 11 on land and underwater. The areas to be cleaned will be identified and assessed in the...

  • Window on dragonflies

    Window on dragonflies

    For the sixth year running, Malta’s Entomological Society has launch­ed its annual bulletin in the form of a fully illustrated scientific journal (Volume 6, 2013). It includes information on some 40 insects that inhabit these islands, eight of...

  • Endangered ‘water monster’ sighted

    Endangered ‘water monster’ sighted

    The salamander-like axolotl apparently has not disappeared from its only known natural habitat in Mexico City’s few remaining lakes. Researchers say they have sighted, but not caught, two of the slippery little creatures during a second effort to...

  • The hoary rockrose

    The hoary rockrose

    The hoary rockrose is a very scarce plant that belongs to the cistus family. It is a Mediterranean species that can be found up to an altitude of 1,000 metres and is indigenous to the Maltese islands. The plant, known in Maltese as ċistu roża, is...

  • Volcanoes may alter global warming data

    Volcanoes may alter global warming data

    Volcanoes have cancelled out some of the effects of global warming over the past decade and given a false impression of the rate of climate change, research has shown. The atmospheric impact of volcanic eruptions was not included in climate...

  • A tribute to local mature gardens

    A tribute to local mature gardens

    In recent years there has been an excessive number of planning applications proposing to develop or part-develop local mature gardens, stretching from Balzan and Attard to Għaxaq (Villa Mekrech) to St Paul’s Bay (Villino Chapelle), to Sliema...

  • The shrubby ramalina

    The shrubby ramalina

    The ramalina is a genus of lichens with a typical shrubby structure, and is very different from the lichens we are used to seeing on walls, rocks and stones. The genus consists of about 240 species, which are found widely in various habitats...


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