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Environment

  • 2013 sixth-warmest year on record

    2013 sixth-warmest year on record

    Much of the extreme weather that wreaked havoc in Asia, Europe and the Pacific region last year can be blamed on human-induced climate change, the UN weather agency has said. The World Meteorological Organisation’s annual assessment said 2013 was...

  • Rainfall shifts have curbed sea level rise, not pause in global warming

    Heavy rains from the Amazon to Australia have curbed sea level rise so far this century by shifting water from the oceans to land, according to a study that rejects theories that the slowdown is tied to a pause in global warming. Sea level rise...

  • Those nasty trees in Qala

    Those nasty trees in Qala

    Qala mayor Clint Camilleri recently wrote on his Facebook page that the long-awaited works in Qala parish square could finally start as the local council already had permits to uproot the palm trees on site, while permits to uproot the remaining...

  • Climate change warning over crops

    Future heatwaves could threaten key global food crops if climate change is not addressed, according to a British study. Researchers came to the conclusion after estimating the effects of extreme temperatures and raised carbon dioxide levels on...

  • Energy demand a threat to strained water supplies

    Energy demand a threat to strained water supplies

    Rising demand for energy, from biofuels to shale gas, is a threat to freshwater supplies that are already under strain from climate change, the UN said in a report yesterday. It urged energy companies to do more to limit use of water in everything...

  • South African daisy

    South African daisy

    The South African daisy is a popular cultivated plant, which has been planted widely in gardens, in soft areas along roads and in other public places in recent years. So I was not too surprised when I saw it growing profusely along the side of...

  • 19 new species of praying mantis found

    19 new species of praying mantis found

    Nineteen new species of a tree-living praying mantis family have been discovered, tripling the group’s diversity at a stroke. The bark mantises from Central and South America were found in tropical forests and among specimens kept in museums. Many...

  • China vows to clean up 60% of cities by 2020

    China vows to clean up 60% of cities by 2020

    China pledged that it will make sure that 60 per cent of its cities meet national pollution standards by 2020, with pressure growing to make cities liveable as hundreds of millions of migrants are expected to relocate from the countryside. China’s...

  • France curbs Paris drivers to combat dangerous smog

    France curbs Paris drivers to combat dangerous smog

    France introduced driving restrictions in Paris yesterday to tackle dangerous pollution levels, the first such ban for 20 years as politicians try to get rid of health-threatening smog days before municipal elections. Paris is more prone to smog...

  • Keeping Europe on track with gas and renewables

    Keeping Europe on track with gas and renewables

    Despite the development of renewable energies and infrastructures, the EU’s energy dependence on Russia has been a strong factor in the lowering of tone after the Maidan massacre in Kiev last month. Brussels did not jump on the sanctions bandwagon...

  • Action Week on alternatives to pesticides

    Action Week on alternatives to pesticides

    Malta this week joins other countires around the world to mark Pesticide Action Week, an annual event aimed at promoting alternatives to pesticides. The campaign takes place during the first 10 days of spring when the use of pesticides usually...

  • Tarxien school actively promotes eco-awareness

    Tarxien school actively promotes eco-awareness

    Immaculate Conception School, Tarxien, which forms part of St Jeanne Antide College, recently organised an Eco Day to promote eco-friendly measures among students. Each class took part in various activities aimed at raising awareness about waste...

  • 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...

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