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Climate Risk Country Profile - Malaysia

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• Between 1970 and 2013, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak regions experienced surface mean temperature increase of 0.14°C–0.25°C per decade.

• Under RCP8.5, the highest emissions pathway, average temperatures are projected to increase by 3.11°C by the 2090s (0.6°C less than the global average) and 0.8°C by the 2090s under RCP2.6, the lowest emissions pathway, approximately 0.2°C less than the global average.

• An increase in rainfall is also projected and is expected to be larger in Sabah and Sarawak than in Peninsular Malaysia, although there is generally large uncertainty around precipitation projections.

• Malaysia is particularly vulnerable to flooding, with this natural hazard contributing more damage than any other the country experiences. The frequency and extremity of flood events have increased in recent decades with projections showing they will continue to increase with continued global warming.

• The frequency and intensity of heat waves experienced in Malaysia is projected to increase significantly due to a warming climate.

• Coastal adaptation and disaster risk reduction issues have risen up the national agenda in Malaysia. Vulnerability assessments identify risks to agricultural production in coastal areas from sea-level rise in the range projected under the RCP emission pathways (approximately 0.4–0.7m by 2100, with greater sea level rise in Sabah-Sarawak).

• Modelling suggests that occurrence of droughts and floods early in the rice-growing season could reduce yields by up to 60%. Furthermore, drought conditions may impact the cultivation of rubber, palm oil and cocoa.

• In Malaysia, climate change threatens to exacerbate poverty and inequality, with low-income earners economically dependent on activities where climatic conditions play a prominent role, such as agriculture, fishing and informal sectors in the urban economy, and typically living in more exposed areas.

Asian Development Bank: © Asian Development Bank