Things to start heating up


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 03 Mar 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Arm yourselves with hats, umbrellas and sunblock lotion the days are going to get hotter over the next 80 years.

A map depicting the likely physical impact of climate change on South-East Asia showed that the temperature on the warmest days can rise by as much as 6°C by the end of the century.

The map, produced by Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) together with the Met Office Hadley Centre, revealed that the hike in temperature would be worse for inland sites of the region, areas like Thailand, Laos and Borneo.

“The map also showed that the rise in sea-level would increase the risk of flooding and coastal land loss for Malaysia.

“There could be salt water intrusion into underground aquifers,” said British High Commission political counsellor Nigel Boud during the launch of the map here.

He said Malaysia might be frequently affected by smoke-haze pollution caused by forest fires in Indonesia, adding that this would increase the risk of pollution-related health problems such as upper respiratory tract illness and asthma.

Boud hoped the map would increase public understanding of the likely impacts of climate change and the need for urgent action.

“The map underlines why Britain and other countries believe we must ensure that global warming does not exceed 2°C. Beyond that, the impact will be increasingly disruptive to our global prosperity and security.”

John Pearson, head of the South-East Asia Regional Climate Change Network at FCO, said other notable impacts were more varied rainfall, more instances of drought and more intense typhoons.

He said the region might see a decline in rice production as rice plants were sensitive to extremes of temperature.

He also said the marine ecosystem could be altered by ocean acidification which would have a significant impact on fisheries.

Pearson said various climate simulation models showed a global average temperature rise of 4°C by the end of the century if carbon emissions were not mitigated.

He added that the projections in the map were based on this level of temperature hike.

The map can be viewed at:

>http://ukinsingapore.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/602732382/seaclimatemap2012

>Using Google Earth, go to www.fco.gov.uk/google-earth-4degrees.kml, then click on the radio button in the “Temporary places” hierarchy.

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