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It’s Not Your Imagination. Malaysia’s Cities Have Been Getting Hotter Since The 80s

It’s Not Your Imagination. Malaysia’s Cities Have Been Getting Hotter Since The 80s

The heat island effect has something to do with this.

Hakim Hassan

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If you’ve been feeling that it’s getting hot out here, you’re not wrong as a report shows that cities in Malaysia are indeed getting hotter.

NST quoted studies from Think City Sdn Bhd which showed marked increases in peak land surface temperatures in:

  • Kuala Lumpur city centre
  • Bayan Lepas and George Town in Penang
  • Johor Baru
  • Ipoh, Perak

The data showed that Kuala Lumpur saw an increase of 1.64°C between 1989 and 2019.

This pales in comparison with other cities as Bayan Lepas’ saw an increase of 5.63°C between 1988 and 2020 while George Town’s surface temperature increased by 6.37°C within that same period.

Meanwhile, Ipoh city between 1998 and 2019 recorded a 6.75°C increase and Johor Baru’s surface temperature increased by 6.7°C between 2005 and 2018.

What caused the increase

The studies show that the rise in temperature was primarily linked to the urban heat island effect, along with other factors such as lack of greenery which contributes to global warming.

Experts say that the effect is mostly caused by building materials used in constructing buildings in urban areas with concrete and bitumen singled out as potential causes.

These materials are said to absorb and re-emits the sun’s heat more than the natural landscape.

From the study, Think City’s Geospatial Analyst Dr Ceelia Leong said it points out two things:

  • Malaysian cities are getting hotter due to the increasing intensity of development, which is compounded by the effects of climate change.
  • The maps showed that urban greening had beneficial impacts with the ability to lower urban temperatures between two and eight degrees Celsius

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