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NEW STRAITS TIMES: Most Malaysians not sure what they can do to tackle climate change – Expert

Published in : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly noticeable in Malaysia which has been experiencing extreme weather events in recent times, the latest being the floods in Johor caused by continuous heavy rain and affecting over 50,000 people.


According to the World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank’s Climate Risk Country Profile: Malaysia (2021), under the worst-case scenario of climate change, average temperatures in this country are expected to rise by 3.11 degrees Celsius by the 2090s.


DATA ACCESSING

While a sound understanding of climate change is vital for everyone, it is, however, challenging for the public to access weather alerts and prepare for climate risks.


It is with this in mind that Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) launched MyIKLIM Database on Jan 23 – a first-of-its-kind one-stop portal providing a database on climate change with technical and layman-friendly information readily available to the public, academia, industry and policymakers.

According to MyIKLIM Database project leader, Dr Maggie Ooi Chel Gee, localised data gathering is crucial for climate projections for the next 50 to 100 years.


“We are still relying on global data and merely working on assumptions based on such data. In fact, local data provided by the (relevant) agencies has limited accessibility to the public. Some of the data are only open to scholars for research purposes but not all are well synchronised,” she said.


Ooi, who is also UKM Institute of Climate Change senior lecturer specialising in air quality modelling, said to enable the public to understand climate change better, MyIKLIM Database was launched as a one-stop data curation portal for climate change research in Malaysia.


She said there is a need to provide open data as a tool to promote citizen science.


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