KINIGUIDE | Flooding in the Klang Valley yesterday was among many recent events prompting Malaysians to wake up to the effects of climate change.
But if global warming is about the rise in temperatures, shouldn't it cause droughts instead of more floods?
Here's a breakdown of how it is all related.
What is climate change?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as changes in the atmospheric temperature over a longer period of time, typically more than a decade.
It may be due to natural processes or a combination of that with human activities.
Since the 1800s, human activities like the burning of fossil fuels have been the driver of climate change.
This activity generates greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat around the earth, raising the temperature.
Has Malaysia experienced rising temperatures?
According to data gathered by the United Nations, Malaysia's average surface temperature increased between 0.14 to 0.25 degrees Celcius per decade between the year 1970 to 2013.
Malaysia's average temperature has been on an upward trajectory since 1964, when it was 24.93°C. By 2020, the average temperature was 26.05°C, about a degree warmer.
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