The topic of climate change has never been hotter, but with all the predictions, trending articles and heated debates by politicians claiming ‘aye’ or ‘nay’ about its existence and effects, it can be hard to get one’s head around the topic. So, in this article, we’ll get back to basics and review what the fuss is all about – with the key points that everyone should know about climate change.
Climate change is an unequivocal fact and many of the observed changes are unprecedented. More than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature was caused by the increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations due to human activity. Malaysia is also experiencing a warming trend with an increase of mean surface temperature from 0.6°C to 1.2°C and facing an increase of rainfall intensity and sea level rise. To tackle climate change, Malaysia has voluntarily pledged to cut its emission intensity (per unit of GDP) by up to 40% by 2020 and 45% by 2030 compared to the levels in 2005, with some conditions applied. How is Malaysia doing to achieve this emission reduction target?
Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mazlin Mokhtar is a Professor in Environmental Chemistry. He is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation Affairs) of the National University of Malaysia (UKM). He is also the Chairman of the Environmental Quality Council. His research expertise is in Sustainability Science and Governance.
This short personal essay is based on my experiences traveling in Canada as an undergraduate, and how I began to understand the effects of climate change on northern regions of the country. In this essay, I discuss the rapidly changing climate in the Yukon Territory and the rise and fall of Fort McMurray, an oil boomtown, as told through my travel experiences in search of the aurora borealis, or northern lights.
Palm oil has been unfairly labelled as ‘dirty oil’ by some, but the industry is making a stand and changing its practises to overcome negative perception. Palm oil plantations have implemented various measures to reduce the environmental impact, and the palm oil mills are following suit, using science and technology to convert their waste to wealth. The palm oil mills of today no longer just extract oil, but are now able to turn solid waste into products, and liquid waste into energy.