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Environment

  • The common sandpiper

    The common sandpiper

    The common sandpiper is a small migratory wader found throughout Europe and north Asia. Most of the birds that breed on the European continent winter in Africa although some remain in the Mediterranean area. It visits the Maltese islands on a...

  • Locusts ‘interact with their neighbours’ to march together

    Locusts ‘interact with their neighbours’ to march together

    As they swarm, creatures tend to move in same direction but then they spontaneously switch drift as a group – behaviour seen in starlings, fish Swarming locusts interact with at least two of their neighbours when aligning themselves in order to...

  • By 2100 vast Alpine glacier could almost vanish due to global warming

    By 2100 vast Alpine glacier could almost vanish due to global warming

    One of Europe’s biggest glaciers, the Great Aletsch, coils 23 kilometres through the Swiss Alps – and yet this mighty river of ice could almost vanish in the lifetimes of people born today because of climate change. The glacier, 900 metres thick...

  • Change in atmosphere may threaten survival of European lizards

    Change in atmosphere may threaten survival of European lizards

    Global warming may threaten the survival of European lizards by forcing the reptiles to live fast and die young, new research has shown. Scientists set up an experiment in which 18 populations of common lizards lived in semi-natural enclosures,...

  • Urgent need for local action regarding climate change

    Urgent need for local action regarding climate change

    Plants growing on the side of a volcano in Ecuador have shifted their range by half a kilometre, gradually moving up the mountain in search of a cooler environment as the climate becomes warmer. A sunflower-related species is now found growing...

  • Heating buildings using geothermal energy

    Heating buildings using geothermal energy

    Daniela Galea has completed a three-year Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy at the University. The title of her dissertation was ‘Design of a shallow ground geo­thermal heat pump system for space conditioning of buildings’. The research...

  • Malta at RELEMR meeting

    Pauline Galea and Daniela Farrugia from the University’s Department of Geosciences, attended the 36th meeting of the Reducing Earthquake Losses in the Extended Mediterranean Region (RELEMR) in Ravenna, Italy. During the meeting, Galea presented...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    A large and very destructive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 occurred in Afghanistan on October 26. The quake also shook other countries in south Asia, including Pakistan and India. In 2005, an earthquake in the same region killed over 70,000...

  • Autumn – a time of rebirth

    Autumn – a time of rebirth

    In central and northern European culture, autumn is harvest time and, therefore, a time of gladness and thanksgiving. It is also a time of melancholia brought about by the end of summer and the imminent arrival of dark and cold winter days. It is...

  • Tunnelling to feed land reclamation?

    The current hype revolving around the development of a permanent Malta-Gozo link has touched briefly upon environmental concerns, with the tunnel option being touted by many as having a significantly lower environmental impact than the bridge...

  • Repairing an eyesore

    Repairing an eyesore

    Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s enforcement section officials visited this idyllic site at Majjistral Park nature reserve after being alerted. They observed work taking place to replace the roof of an existing boathouse in the area, and...

  • Appeal to preserve San Ġwann’s neglected historical heritage

    Appeal to preserve San Ġwann’s neglected historical heritage

    Wirt San Ġwann is an official non-governmental organisation founded in June 2013 to promote the town’s cultural heritage and to encourage the better appreciation and protection of the locality’s cultural and historical heritage. Over the years,...

  • Thorny issues unresolved as climate summit nears

    Thorny issues unresolved as climate summit nears

    Delegates to a climate summit in December remain divided over fundamental issues including a framework for measuring carbon emissions, the envoy of the host nation said, though she believes a deal to cut global warming will be...

  • Deal more important for your health than you realise – WHO

    A new global agreement to combat climate change, expected to be reached in December in Paris, is more important for everyone’s health than many people realise, a senior World Health Organis-ation official said. Apart from the direct impact,...

  • Millenarian olives in Malta

    Millenarian olives in Malta

    The olive tree is a small evergreen tree that grows throughout the Mediterranean area and in parts of the world with a Mediterranean climate, including California, parts of South Africa and parts of Western and South Australia. Olive trees are...

  • Challenges facing a mainstream agenda on urban areas in the EU

    Challenges facing a mainstream agenda on urban areas in the EU

    Foreigners often tend to see the central, built-up zone of Malta as a single urbanised area on the periphery of Europe – a minor city sprawling from Attard to Tarxien and from Pembroke to Kalkara. Yet the fierce separateness of identity in our...

  • Regional training course for coastal stakeholders

    Regional training course for coastal stakeholders

    Delegates from 15 European countries with a Mediterranean or Black Sea coast, including Malta, and Black Sea Commission reepresentatives, attended a regional stakeholder training course in Malta. The main aim was to share the measures they propose...

  • Problems of soil erosion

    Problems of soil erosion

    Soil erosion is a serious problem. Soil is not only lost, but lost soil accumulates elsewhere, causing problems. Soil and nutrients may end up in rivers and other water bodies, seriously affecting aquatic life. It takes time to replace lost soil.

  • Castor oil plant

    Castor oil plant

    The castor oil plant is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family. It is a native of East Africa and India but has been introduced to many parts of the world, including Malta. It prefers warm countries but it can also be grown in temperate...

  • One tough bird

    One tough bird

    A diet of putrid rotting flesh may not be your cup of tea but to the cinereous vulture, found across Southern Europe and Asia, it is positively delightful. This tough bird, it turns out, is genetically wired to thrive on the stuff. Researchers...

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