The scourge of large-scale climate change

PETALING JAYA: Southeast Asia’s seas are home to some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems and resources that support the livelihoods and well-being of millions of people
of people.

However, climate change threatens to cause adverse effects that will have uncertain consequences for humanity and the natural systems of the region.

Marine research expert Kwong Kok Onn said the effects of global warming have been noted by scientists for quite some time and have become a global problem.

“Globally, temperatures are projected to be 1.5°C and 4.5°C higher over the next 100 years. Studies record higher ocean temperature, rising sea levels, lower sea pH, higher precipitation and altered sea currents,” he said. the sun.

In addition, global warming is causing monetary problems, reducing life expectancy and health.

“For unsettled areas, the impact of global warming can have adverse effects on people’s social, economic and health status. First world nations are relatively better equipped to deal with global warming, using the latest scientific discoveries,” Kwong said.

“Unfortunately, the situation varies between third world countries, because they have basic technologies. Our country will be challenged by global warming, which will affect the balance of ecological and socio-economic processes. People dependent on fishing are of particular interest.

He said that the fisheries sector is vital as a continuous source of food and with the efforts of the Department of Fisheries and the Fisheries Development Authority, many useful activities have been carried out for the fishing industry. fishing and its stakeholders, but challenges remain.

“People living in the coastal zone are often poor and landless, with limited access to services and therefore vulnerable to any impact on natural resources. For many coastal communities in reef areas, fishing activities are the only source of income.

“In Southeast Asia, small-scale fishers provide around half of what is needed for human consumption and they are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Other sectors that rely on wild capture and farming may be similarly affected,” he said, adding that Malaysian fishers are advised to be socially and economically prepared so they can coping with the impact of climate change.

Kwong also said rising sea temperatures were a major cause of coral bleaching and damage to reef ecosystems around the world.

“Studies suggest that 60% of coral reefs could be lost by 2030 and that increased ocean acidification due to higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could contribute to this.

“Coral reefs provide permanent habitat for many important fish species and are vital for the juvenile stages or food supply of many others. In addition to providing direct benefits to fisheries, coral reefs attract tourists and protect the ribs,” he said.

“Higher and more intense temperatures damage corals and lead to considerable bleaching and reduced future regrowth. A reduction in pH level also changes carbonate chemistry, reducing reef size and destroying coral infrastructure.

“Coral destruction in Southeast Asia is endangering related food webs, making organisms dependent on them and threatening local food supplies and coastal security, and is likely to harm the tourism industry of a billion dollars.”

Additionally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found that the world’s oceans are warming, acidifying and deoxygenating, leading to changes in the geographic range of many marine species, and these changes are expected to accelerate during this century.

“The impact of climate change on the marine environment of Southeast Asia is therefore a major social, economic and ecological concern,” Kwong added.

Teresa H. Sadler