Temperatures may go up by 3˚C with El Nino phenomenon

Temperatures may go up by 3˚C with El Nino phenomenon

10 June 2009

published by thestar.com.my

Malaysia — Brace yourself for hotter days. The El Nino phenomenon is coming.

And with warmer weather, the Government warns that the haze will worsen.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas said the Meteorological Department has reported the El Nino phenomenon.

“However, its full effect can only be gauged sometime in August,” he said.

El Nino is a climatic condition where abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean causes dry weather in South-East Asia and northern Australia.

Uggah was speaking to reporters after launching the Genting Goes Green programme at First World Plaza, Genting Highlands Resort yesterday.

Malaysia experiences a hot and dry season in June, July and August with temperatures ranging between 33 °C to 34 °C. However, with the El Nino phenomenon, temperatures can rise by an additional 3 °C.

Uggah said with such hot and dry conditions, any open burning activity could make things worse.

He said the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre satellite report had identified 125 hot spots in the country from May 25 to June 7.

The report also showed an increase of hot spots in Sumatra and Kalimantan with 996 and 108 hot spots respectively.

Uggah said the Air Pollution Index for various locations in the country had deteriorated slightly.

“This has caused it to be slightly hazy. The hazy situation happened because of a stable atmosphere with a high humidity level of above 85%.

“This causes pollutants like dust and emissions from vehicles and factories to be collected in the air, causing poor visibility,” he said.

At 5pm yesterday, 57% of measuring stations around the country recorded “moderate” readings while the remaining stations recorded “good” readings.

Cheras in Kuala Lumpur had the worst API reading with 96 while Port Klang recorded a reading of 87.

As preventive measures, Uggah said the ministry had increased monitoring via daily aerial surveillance with co-operation from the police air unit and private airline companies.

“Emphasis is given to areas that are prone to fires such as Selangor, Pahang and Johor, especially peat swamps and garbage landfills,” he said.

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