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KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 -- In response to a report in a local newspaper today, the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) said that it is inaccurate to say that climate change alone is responsible for the recent thunderstorms occurring in the west coast.
MetMalaysia said in a statement that many factors could influence thunderstorms including topography, urban heat islands and the erratic nature of climate.
“According to records, nearly 80 per cent of the strongest storms happened before the year 2000 which shows that strong thunderstorms aren’t a new occurrence.
“Therefore, it is inaccurate to say that the thunderstorms lately are a result of just climate change.”
However, MetMalaysia doesn’t deny that climate change has happened based on an analysis of the average temperature in Peninsular Malaysia which has risen by about 2.4°C in the last 100 years.
“In Sabah it rose 1.8°C and in Sarawak it is 1.3°C higher for the same period. Aside from this, 17 of the 20 highest average temperatures recorded in the country were after the year 2000,” the statement added.
MetMalaysia said that analysis also showed that the country’s high temperature was closely linked to the El Niño phenomenon in 1982/83, 1997/98, 2004/05 and 2015/16.
“In fact, the highest on record was 40.1°C in 1998,” the statement said.