More climate alarms as Arctic temperatures hit record 38°C last year

More climate alarms as Arctic temperatures hit record 38°C in 2020
Dec 15 2021 Share

Yesterday Tuesday 15th December 2021, the UN officially recognised the 38°C measured in Siberia last year as a new record for the Arctic. 

Sounding more alarm bells over climate crises, the extreme heat was registered on June 20, 2020 in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk. This marks the highest temperature ever recorded above the Arctic Circle. 

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) added the record heat for the first time in its archive of extreme weather reports, and is one of many reports of extreme temperatures worldwide in the last few years. 

The town lies about 115 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and temperatures have been measured ever since 1885. Registered during a prolonged Siberian heatwave, the temperature is more befitting the Mediterranean than the Arctic, said the office. 

Average temperatures across Arctic Siberia reached up to 10 degrees Celsius above normal for much of last year’s blistering summer, contributing to more ice cap melting and overall climate crisis emphasis. 


Photo Source: Times Higher Education, Inside Climate News

76 people fined for not wearing masks in first weekend

76 people fined for not wearing masks in first weekend
Dec 15 2021 Share

76 individuals received fines for breaking the newly implemented mask-mandate during their first weekend of being put in place. The number of fines issued was lower than in May, which was just before the rules for mask wearing outdoors were removed. Police typically issued 800 fines per week or 114 a day. 

Anyone breaking this mandate risks a €100 penalty. Those fined can lower the penalty to €50 if they choose to pay before court proceedings begin. The rules were reintroduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant fuels the spike, with experts worrying about the transmission of the new Omicron variant. 

The decision was met with quite some criticism, from both people and organisations alike, such as the Malta College of Pathologists. The College noted how walking outdoors alone or with same household members at good distance from others does not pose transmission risk. 

Health Minister Chris Fearne defended the measure by saying that it would help protect people against other illnesses and not just COVID-19. 


Photo Source: Malta Police Force FB, Anna Shvets

Vaccine checks for football fans as Premier League sees infection wave

Vaccine checks for football fans as Premier League sees infection wave
Dec 15 2021 Share

Premier League fans will be subjected to vaccine passport checks to enter stadiums starting Wednesday due to infections.

Tottenham’s and Manchester United’s trips to Brighton and Brentford respectively were postponed due to outbreaks in the Spurs and United camps. 

42 positive cases among Premier League players and staff in the past week were reported by Aston Villa, Leicester and Norwich. 

This is the highest since testing began in May 2020, following the return of football in England after a three-month delay. 

Matches continued to empty stadiums for over a year until restrictions were loosened up and allowing fans to return with no restrictions at most stadiums. 

Only Brighton, Chelsea and Tottenham introduced the mandatory checks which will now be utilised across England for crowds over 10,000. 

Announcing the measures, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the vaccine passport would keep these events and venues open at full capacity albeit with safer guidelines. 


Photo Source: Premier League, Sky Sports

The Cannabis Bill has been approved – one step away from legalisation

The Cannabis Bill has been approved - one step away from legalisation
Dec 14 2021 Share

Malta has become the first European country to make cannabis legal, with the only step remaining being President George Vella signing the bill. 

This is a historic moment for both Malta and the EU, with parliament voting in favour of the reform on Tuesday afternoon. 

The PN called for a division during the Third Reading, with the vote carrying with 36 in favour and 27 against. 

The law will allow the possession of up to 7g of cannabis and the growing of four plants at home. It provides for regulated clubs from where cannabis can be sold to registered members. 

The White Paper was published last March, receiving 350 submissions from a number of NGOs and individuals. 

The President will need to give his official ascent for the reform to come into full effect. Despite calls for him to refuse this, it seems as though the cards are moving in favour of it becoming law.