Keynote Speaker

    Prof. Dato’ Dr. Azizan Abu Samah

    National Antarctic Research Centre NARC, Malaysia

    Biodata : Professor Dato’ Dr Azizan Abu Samah FASc is a professor in the field of Meteorology currently employed as Senior esearch Fellow in the Institute of Earth and Ocean Sciences in University of Malaya. He is also the Interim  Director of the National Antarctic Research Centre based at the same university. He was one of the Vice President of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) (2014-2018) and is on the editorial board of the Polar Journal and Polar Sciences. He was the Malaysian coordinator of an European Union research project SHIVA (Stratospheric ozone: Halogen Impacts in a Varying Atmosphere) and also a steering committee member of Asia Pacific Rim University World Institute Pacific Rim Cities Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies (APRU-CMAS) and is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of Asian Network on Climate Science and Technology (ANCST). 
    He has been invited to review many research articles and proposals for atmospheric sciences and environment for the international journals such as Polar Sciences and research foundations such as the Inbev-Baillet Latour Antarctica Fellowship and SCAR. He one of the two head of the Domain of Heritage, Environment and Culture and head of the Climate and Environment Cluster for the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education Research Grant Schemes. He is also one of the founding members of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation.

    Professor Dato’ Dr Azizan Abu Samah is a fellow of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences and Honorary Professor in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in the university. He has published 4 books and a number of chapters in books. To date he has first author and co-author more than 90 journal articles in high impact journals such as Ocean Dynamics, International Journal of Climate and Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmosphere).

    His is an active researcher and is the principal investigator in a number of national and international research initiatives, working on air-sea interactions in the South China Sea, winter monsoon cold surges, severe Antarctic weather, tropical-polar teleconnection and climate change both in the tropics and the polar region.

    He has a broad fieldwork experience working in the Antarctic and also in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca. He has set up observational network such as a regional Global Atmospheric Watch in Malaysia and a met-ocean buoy in the South China Sea and a sodar system in the Antarctic He has built and lead an active research group with observational and numerical modelling capacity of weather and climate process in the tropics and Antarctic. 

    Keynote SpeakerPolar regions matter to the tropics: a case of continuity of the global system

    Abstract : The polar regions especially the Arctic is now experiencing the highest rate of warming with observed changes of more than 3.5 deg C from the period of 1970-2004 compared to about 2 deg C in the midlatitude and about 1 deg C in the tropics. This warming has weakened the circumpolar circulation and cold air outbreak during winter has cause more freezing spells in the mid-latitudes.

    The linked between the midlatitude and the tropics is the subtropical highs which are located as the descending branch of the tropical Hadley cells. These belt of high pressures that circle the globe are the main driver of the wind over the tropics. The shift or variation of intensity of these subtropical highs will impact on the monsoon of Australasia and Asia. These subtropical highs such as the Siberian High and Mascarene High are also influenced by processes not only in the tropics but also in the polar regions. Hence these subtropical highs are the linked between polar climate and the tropics and vice versa.

    The therohaline circulation that drives the global ocean current is basically driven by both Antarctic and Arctic bottom water generation which is closely linked to polar 
    sea-ice formation. It is estimated that the Antarctic branch of this circulation provides more than 75% of nutrients north of 30 deg S. The change of the strength of the thermohaline circulation will have a significant impact on not only climate but also ocean state of Western Pacific and the western boundary current such as the Kuroshio current of East Asia.

    Last but not least the melting rate of continental and  polar glacier has given rise to a 3.2 mm/year rise in global sea-level. This value is now thought to be underestimated due to the uncertainty of the more rapid than expected melting of the glaciers of Western Antarctica.

    There is still an ongoing research to derive an accurate estimate of Antarctic glacial melt. This sea level rise will have an impact on our coastal regions that will be compounded by the first two changes discussed earlier. Hence all these need to be integrated so that we have a better picture of how polar warming will affect our region.

    These are the areas that Malaysian researchers hope to contribute under our national and international initiatives to show that polar regions matter to the tropics.



    9th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica
    Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation)
    Universiti Teknologi MARA
    40450 Shah Alam, Selangor

    Tel No: +603-5544 2138