The effects of climate change in Malaysia has a significant impact on Malaysia, particularly in terms of rising temperatures, sea-level rise, and changing precipitation patterns. On April 5, 2022, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General referred to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report as “a litany of broken climate promises” and warned the world that it is “on a fast track to climate disaster.” The Malaysian government has not provided much information about the country’s climate change effects. As a result, one must resort to international organizations that have gathered and compiled such information.
The information in this column was compiled from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank’s 2021 publication Climate Risk Country Profile – Malaysia, as well as the United Nations’ 2021 publication Disaster Risk Reduction in Malaysia: 2020 Status Report.
Here are another some of the effects of climate change in Malaysia:
1. The effects of climate change in Malaysia – Increased temperatures:
- Malaysia is experiencing hotter temperatures due to climate change, with the average temperature expected to rise by 0.6 to 4.5°C by the end of the century. This increase in temperature can have serious consequences, including heat-related illnesses, reduced crop yields, and increased energy demands for cooling.
2. The effects of climate change in Malaysia – Changing precipitation patterns:
- Climate change is also affecting rainfall patterns in Malaysia, leading to more extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. These events can cause significant damage to infrastructure and agriculture, affecting the livelihoods of many Malaysians.
3. The effects of climate change in Malaysia – Sea-level rise:
- Malaysia’s coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise, which is caused by the melting of glaciers and ice caps. Rising sea levels can cause flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion, which can harm freshwater resources and damage coastal ecosystems.
4. The effects of climate change in Malaysia – Biodiversity loss:
- Malaysia is home to a rich variety of wildlife and ecosystems, many of which are threatened by climate change. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and other climate-related factors can disrupt ecosystems and harm biodiversity, affecting the country’s natural heritage and its people’s livelihoods.
In Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak, the surface mean temperature increased by 0.14-0.25°C every decade between 1970 and 2013, according to the banks’ assessment.
Rain and floods
According to the banks, a 2015 research of rainfall trends on Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast between 1970 and 2010 found a notable rise in yearly rainfall as well as during the monsoon season. Additionally, it discovered an increase in the number of days with heavy rain (defined as days with more than 20 millimeters of rain).
Any passenger flying from Sabah or Sarawak to the Peninsula cannot help but feel depressed upon seeing vast areas of deforestation. Global Forest Watch states that between 2002 to 2021, Malaysia lost 2.77 Mha (million hectares) of humid primary forest, accounting for 33% of the overall loss of tree cover during that time. The total area of Malaysia’s primary humid forest shrank by 17% over this time.
Malaysia’s rising sea levels at 3.3mm/yr (east) & 5.0mm/yr (west) will severely affect coastal zones.
Through its effects on crop growth processes, climate change has an indirect and direct impact on food production. Changes in precipitation, temperatures, and carbon dioxide availability are among the immediate repercussions.
Heat stress has an impact on household consumption habits, living standards, and labor productivity. The urban heat island effect raises temperatures due to dark surfaces, heat sources, and air pollution.
Climate change effects
Malaysia is already being impacted by climate change. Any group that claimed differently would be limited in their thinking. Malaysia plans to combat climate change; people must know its implications for better adaptation.