International
via Times of Malta

Malta - Sand study shows evidence of warming in Maltese waters

A new study detailing the particular make-up of the sand granules found on Maltese beaches has presented evidence that indicates waters around the coastline are warming up.

The research paper by geologist Peter Gatt, entitled ‘Embayment morphometrics, granulometry and carbonate mineralogy of sandy beaches in the Maltese islands’, investigates where sand particles come from, their size and what kind of bays host Malta’s carbonate sandy beaches. The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Geology.

Samples from the study were taken in 14 of the 39 main beaches, namely; Ramla Bay in Gozo, Blue Lagoon, St George’s Bay, Rinella, Marsascala Bay, Armier, Paradise Bay, Mellieħa Bay, St Paul’s Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa, Ġnejna Bay, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, St Thomas Bay and Pretty Bay.

“With the spectre of devastating climate change sea-level rise approaching, sandy beaches, which mark the soft boundary between the land and sea, will be the first casualties,” Gatt said.

His study finds that the single-celled organisms fora-minifera amphistegina is also contributing to sand particles in the country, despite typically being in the warmer waters of Libya and the Middle East.

Gatt says the find reflects the general warming of the Mediterranean Sea.

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