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Environment

  • 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...

  • Marine archeologist exposes Malta’s rich maritime heritage

    Marine archeologist exposes Malta’s rich maritime heritage

    Over 100 students and teachers from various schools in Sydney, Australia, were recently introduced to the incredible underwater world surrounding the Maltese archipelago when Tim Gambin, a marine archaeologist at the University of Malta, delivered...

  • Farmers and fireworks don’t mix

    Farmers and fireworks don’t mix

    A non-descript group of rural buildings, near the bypass in Mellieħa, has gone largely unnoticed by the public as a covert base for the illegal manufacture of village fireworks. Some tattered festa decorations lying around on site belie the...

  • ‘Climate change lies behind storms’ in UK

    ‘Climate change lies behind storms’ in UK

    Climate change almost certainly lies behind the storms that have been lashing Britain this winter, according to the UK Met Office’s chief scientist. Dame Julia Slingo said while there was not yet “definitive proof”, “all the evidence” pointed to a...

  • Stronger Pacific winds may explain warming hiatus

    Stronger winds which have cooled the surface of the Pacific Ocean could explain what is likely to be a temporary slowdown in the pace of global warming this century, researchers said. Last year, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate...

  • Quake watch

    Quake watch

    Last month’s seismicty in the Mediterranean region was marked by a strong earthquake off the coast of western Greece, beneath Cephalonia island, on January 26 (largest yellow circle on map). The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck at 3.55pm local time...

  • Reliving the run-up to 1992

    With the raging debate on the Individual Investor Programme scheme monopolising headlines and coffee shop discussions, few might have realised that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority board recently approved the slew of proposed Outside...

  • Owners removing illegal structures

  • Billions needed to fund deforestation prevention plan

    Donor nations, rainforest-rich countries and multilateral institutions will have to spend tens of billions of dollars in the next few years to ensure that nations undergoing deforestation will have incentives to halt the practice, a report...

  • The beetle that dwells in churches

    The beetle that dwells in churches

    The churchyard beetle is one of the larger beetles of the Maltese islands, with some individual specimen growing up to 37mm long. It prefers to live in dark humid areas and can sometimes be found in basements, cellars, cave entrances and,...

  • Supernova – a stellar explosion

    Supernova – a stellar explosion

    On the evening of January 21, students and staff at the observatory of the University College of London discovered a newly exploded star in a nearby galaxy known as M82. This supernova is officially designated SN 2014J and is classified as a Type...

  • War on weather

    War on weather

    Generals and admirals around the world with long experience of planning military operations are taking the threat of climate change seriously. They have seen what can happen when a river running across borders or disputed territory begins to dry up.

  • Plan to dump dredged mud in Great Barrier Reef approved

    Plan to dump dredged mud in Great Barrier Reef approved

    Project could put fragile ecosystem of World Heritage marine park at risk Australia’s Great Barrier Reef watchdog yesterday gave the go-ahead for millions of cubic metres of dredged mud to be dumped near the fragile reef to create the world’s...

  • Penguins are in peril

    Penguins are in peril

    Penguins are in peril because of extreme environmental conditions linked to climate change, research has shown. Two new studies highlight the plight of penguin colonies trying to cope with the effects of global warming in Argentina and...

  • Warmer seas leading to smaller fish

    Warmer seas leading to smaller fish

    A decline in the size of some species of fish in the North Sea could be due to a rise in water temperatures, according to research. Scientists found that the maximum length of haddock, whiting, herring, Norway pout, plaice and sole decreased by as...

  • The large carpenter bee

    The large carpenter bee

    The large carpenter bee is the most common species of carpenter bee and is the largest solitary bee in Europe. They are called so because nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood; but the large carpenter bee prefers to build...

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