Australia and Malaysia Geography Compared
Australia and Malaysia Geography Compared
The 66th largest country in the world, with approximately 329,612 square kilometers is Malaysia. The nation has its borders defined largely by the geological features like the Golok River, Pagalayan canal, and the Perlis River. Golok River is the river that is at the border of Thailand and Malaysia. This name Golok has its meaning from the Malay language that means the river of swords. This river connects Malaysia and Thailand through the bridge of friendship. The river may flood sometimes, the flood that caused a lot of destruction was witnessed in the year 2009. It originated from the mountainous regions of Waeng district and is approximately 103 Km long. Malaysia is on the north part of the Equator and is composed of East Malaysia and East Malaysia. East Malaysia is on the Borneo Island and west Malaysia is known as Peninsular Malaysia (Che Ros, et al.).
The capital city of Malaysia is the Kuala Lumpur and it is located at the western part of Peninsular Malaysia. Mt Kinabalu which is the highest mountain in Eastern Malaysia, it is approximately 13500 feet. The mountain was once known as St. Peter’s mountain and Kinabalu National Park is one of the greatest tourist’s attraction. Kinabalu mountain comprises an oval-shaped dome that was formed when magma spilled to the surface of the earth. The explosion made the sedimentary shale. Mount Kinabalu was accorded the World’s heritage by UNESCO and this made the mountain be a great tourist’s destination (Che Ros, et al.).
The Bera Lake is the largest lake in Malaysia, it is a freshwater lake in the southwest Pahang. It is approximately 20 kilometres wide and drains its water into Pahang River, due to its freshwater feature, it has been of great importance both to human and animal (wildlife). However, due to the current human activities, the water in this lake has been contaminated and cannot be used without proper treatment. However, the water can still be used for irrigation in Malaysia (Che Ros, et al.).
Australia, on the other hand, is the world’s smallest continent and still the sixth world’s largest country. The country is densely populated in the southern and the eastern part. The geography of this country is very diverse ranging from tropical temperate forest to snow-capped mountain. This is a nation on its own, a continent and an island of its own. It is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The mainland is approximately 35,876 km with no land borders. The Great Barrier Reef which is located just close to the Queensland in north-eastern Australia is the living largest coral in the world, it supports several marine animals. Mt Augustus, which is also claimed to be the world’s largest monolith. It is located 850 km north of Perth; it has a lot of tourist accommodation places because this is one of the nations that have a lot of tourist’s attraction (HUGO).
Malaysia’s climate is equatorial, hot and mostly humid annually. The rainfall in Malaysia measures 249 centimetres per year and temperature of this nation is mostly 26 °C. Malaysia is exposed to El Nino and thus experiences floods and droughts. The monsoon winds that affects Malaysia are the Southwest Monsoon and the Northeast Monsoon. The local climates which are affected by the mountain ranges in Malaysia, climate gets divided into two which is the lowlands and the highlands. It is, therefore, a warm country and does not have the four seasons. The human activities that are likely to destroy the environment and pollute the air is discouraged and the country is working towards ensuring that any negative climate change that is caused by the human is strictly reduced. This is to ensure that the country gets to conserve the air and most importantly to avoid degradation of the environment (Che Ros, et al.).
Most of the parts of Australia is arid and semi-arid. It is characterized by high temperature and very low rainfall. The fertile part of Australia is only the Southwest region and experiences some moderate rainfall. The drought that lasts for several seasons is said to be linked to the El Nino southern oscillation. There are some cases where a very large tornado rises above and covers several parts of the country with dust. This makes the area to be a very hot desert, there is cold water that is produced from the tropical location is not enough to produce enough moisture that is needed to cool the mainland. There were studies that were conducted in order to understand the major causes of the desertification in Australia and the findings showed that the desert is great as a result of human activities especially the people who arrived in Australia 49000-50000 years ago. They were burning and cutting trees and these activities are said to be the hindrance of monsoons to reach the interior of the country (Kendall).
The South China Sea in Peninsular Malaysia is the largest water body in Malaysia. There is also the Andaman Sea that is towards the north. The lakes that were explained above, lake Bera, and there is also the Chini Lake are the largest lakes in Malaysia. The seas are majorly used for transport and also fishing. Apart from fishing, these water bodies are also used as tourist’s attraction sites to bring foreign exchange to the country. The Chini Lake is the second freshwater lake after the Bera Lake which is at the Southwest Pahang ("Malaysia: Peninsular malaysia" ).
Great Artesian Basin is the world’s largest and deepest freshwater basin. It is thus the most important source of water in Australia. The Billabong which is an Australian name of the oxbow lake that able to form a long and meandering river. Majority of the water bodies in Australia are freshwater lakes. They are tourists’ attraction and they are also used for fishing in Australia (Dafny)
Even though Australia is arid and semi-arid, it has a variety of habitats ranging from tropical rainforest to the alpine heaths. There are evergreen species in the Australian forest like the eucalyptus trees which is found in the semi-arid areas. There are wattles trees in the dry areas. The monotremes are the well-known Australian mammals. The marsupials that include Kangaroo, wombat, and Koala are also found this country. There are also very dangerous species of snakes in Australia. Majority of the mammals have extinct because of the human activities
Malaysia has diverse wildlife; this is because most of this country is covered by the rainforest that makes it possible for many species of plants, animals, and birds to live. It approximated that Malaysia has over 350 mammal species over 600 bird species and very many reptiles. Because of this large number of species, this work will only look at a few of the species that are unique. It contains approximately 20% of the total world’s animal species. That is a very large number of animals found in this one country. The four big cats which are the Indochinese tiger, Indochinese leopard, the Malayan tiger, and the clouded leopard are all found in this nation and are the key tourists’ attraction. Naming all the animals found in Malaysia will consume a lot of time and space, however, compared to other countries and in this case, Australia, Malaysia has a very large and diverse number of species of animals and birds. The government of Malaysia has taken the center stage in protecting the wildlife of Malaysia and the forests of Malaysia
The major threat that has been witnessed is the habitat destruction of marine life, there are also cases of illegal fishing methods that have caused over 3000 turtles to die every year. The fish are a source of food to the locals and also used for commercial purposes, the animals are used for various purposes, apart from being used as tourists’ attraction, their skins are used to make different products like shoes, clothes, and some are sold for different purposes.
In Australia, Climate change has a lot of effect on the ecosystem, the climate warming has caused land and ocean life to move away from the areas that are too hot or too warm to areas that are cool. The species that are unable to move have extinct. Some of the Australian’s ecosystem that is very vulnerable to climate change are the alpine, the tropical and the subtropical rainforest due to the increased warming have shrunken. The cases of bushfires have also been witnessed and the studies that have been done projected that in the year 2050, there will be a high number of bushfire in Australia due to the high temperatures that keep on rising year after year (HUGO).
The problem of drought is not so much witnessed in Malaysia like in Australia. This is because Malaysia has almost the same temperature throughout the year and this has favoured agriculture and food production in Malaysia. There is no much climate change in Malaysia.
Che Ros, Faizah, et al. "Homogeneity and trends in long-term rainfall data, Kelantan River Basin, Malaysia." International Journal of River Basin Management, vol. 14, no. 2, 2016, pp. 151-163.
Dafny, Elad. "The Great Artesian Basin: is it that great?" Hydrogeology Journal, vol. 24, no. 6, 2016, pp. 1329-1332.
HUGO, GRAEME. "Geography and Population in Australia: A Historical Perspective." Geographical Research, vol. 49, no. 3, 2011, pp. 242-260.
Kendall, Matt. "Drought and its Role in Shaping Water Policy in Australia." Drought in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions, 2013, pp. 451-467.
"Malaysia: Peninsular malaysia." SpringerReference