Physical Geography of Malaysia and Its effects on Human Activity
Malaysia is a nation that is located in South East Asia. It is divided into two main parts called Peninsular and East Malaysia. Peninsular is to the east side of the country and is found in the Southern part of Thailand. East Island, on the other hand, is found in Borneo (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013; Cental Intelligence Agency, 2013). Having a clear view on the location of this country this paper will give a clear report on the physical environment and its effects on human activities.
Atmosphere of Malaysia
According to the map of the world, Malaysia is found in close proximity to the equator. As a result, to its closeness to the equator its climatic condition has been categorized into equatorial. An equatorial climate is classified as hot and humid throughout each year. The average rainfall of the country is 250 cm per year. The average temperature, on the other hand, is 270 C annually. When the climatic conditions of Peninsula and East Malaysia are compared, the difference is great. Peninsula is affected by wind while East has a maritime weather condition. Due to the El Nino effect, the amount of rainfall in the dry season is low. Other than the El Nino effect, the country is affected by climatic change which has caused the increase in sea level and droughts (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
Malaysia experiences two monsoon seasons. The first season is from May to September by Southeast Monsoon. The second one is the North East Monsoon which is from November to March. According to geographers this monsoon brings more rainfall compared to South East Monsoon. Other than the effect of monsoons, the Climatic condition of Malaysia is affected by the highlands. Due to the effect of the highlands, the climatic conditions are divided into highlands, lowlands and coastal regions. The coast is said to be much warmer with a temperature of 230 C- 320 C. The rainfall of this climate is 10 cm. Similar to the coastal climate is the lowland climate. The highland is comprised of high rainfall with a cooler climate (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
Lithosphere of Malaysia
Most of the rocks in Malaysia are sedimentary. The main type of rock is limestone which is commonly found in East Malaysia. Unlike East Malaysia, Peninsular has granite rocks. Malaysia has highlands, hills, and forests etc. East Malaysia has mountain ranges. Some of the ranges are Crooker range which hosts several mountains, for example, Kinabalu. Other than the range and mountains, the East has the Bombalai Hill (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013; Sani, 2005).
Just like the East, Peninsula Malaysia has mountain ranges with mountains, for example, Mt. Korbu. Mountains have high density of forests. The forest covers almost half of Malaysia. However, these forests have decreased over time because of the increased activities of logging. Majority of the forest in the country is diplerocarp and mangroves. In addition, to the forest, the country has caves, for example, the Mulu caves. The caves, due to their large size, have increased the rate of tourist attraction in the country. The islands have also increased tourist activities in the country (Sani, 2005).
Hydrosphere of Malaysia
Malaysia has the largest water body and shipping lane in the world. The water body is between the East and the West. The sea present in the country is marginal of the Indian Ocean. The nation has approximately 22 kilometers of territorial waters. Lakes present are Bera and Tasik. Rivers are Rajang and Kinabatangan (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
Biosphere of Malaysia
Malaysia is highly diverse with all kinds of animal species. The presence of forest has provided habitat for the species. The vegetation is high in the highlands. The country is covered by a large tract of land with forests. Other vegetation’s like mangroves are also present (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
Effects of the Four Spheres on Human Activity
Human activities are usually affected by the physical environment. Depending on the physical environment of an area, certain human activities will be carried out. An example of this is; when an area is highly forested or receives high rainfall, activities like farming take place in that area. With respect to Malaysia, it is evident that the presence of a vast array of land with forest has caused people to carry out logging and lumbering. This has led to deforestation and the destruction of forests mainly experienced in East Asia. The mountain ranges coupled with caves running from the East to the West has increased the level of tourist activities both in East Malaysia and Peninsula. The large tract of forests has increased biodiversity thus contributing to the tourism activities. This activity has been boosted by the presence of islands (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
The large water bodies namely Lake Bera and Tarsik has influenced the introduction of fishing activities. Studies reveal that Malaysia has a development of aquaculture where fresh water fishes are farmed. Some of the fish bonds have been established in Selangor. Fish farming activities are on the increase in Peninsula, especially Parak. This is because of the large water bodies in the region (Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industry, 2010).
The water bodies in Peninsula have also increased human activities along the banks. However, the presence of the people in the banks has triggered flooding. Due to natural occurrences like tremors and earthquakes, very few activities are carried out in Kedah. On the contrary, studies reveal that the country receives high amount of rainfall due to the two monsoons. The large amount of rainfall in the country is used for irrigation. The large amount of rainfall especially in the highlands has allowed irrigation activities which have led to the growing of rice. Water has also increased urbanization and the development of industries (Malaysian National Committee of ICID, 2010).
The climatic conditions of a rainfall of 250 cm per year and temperature of 270 C has created a good environment into which crops like palm oil and rubber can be planted. As a result, of the good climatic conditions, Malaysia is known for its growth of rubber and palm oil. Studies reveal that it is the largest exporter of rubber and its products. Moreover, the climate has favored more arable and cropland activities especially in Peninsula (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013).
It is quite evident that the four spheres have a great influence of human activities in Malaysia. Certain human activities go in line with the physical conditions present. Where there are forests, activities like logging, mining and lumbering are bound to take place. Moreover, presence of rainfall causes agricultural and irrigation activities.
Central Intelligence Agency. (2013). East & Southeast Asia: Malaysia. Retrieved from gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html
Encyclopedias Britannica. (2013). Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/359754/Malaysia/52531/Settlement-patterns
Malaysian National Committee of ICID. (2010). Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.icid.org/v_malaysia.pdf
Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry. (2010).Overview of the Agriculture Sector in Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ranzcdadavao/overview-of-agriculture-sector-in-malaysia-presentation
Sani, S. (2013). The Physical Geography of Malaysia. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com.my/volume1/geography.html