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Singapore to study local impact of global climate change findings

October 3, 2013

Article originally written by Kimberly Spykerman for ChannelNewsAsia, and published on 28 September 2013.

(Source: National Climate Change Secretariat)

Significant changes in rainfall patterns and increased rising of sea levels by the year 2100 were among the findings of a global climate science study.

The findings were released by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Stockholm on Friday.

The Singapore government said it will contextualise the global findings and study their impact on the country so that resilience plans can continue to be reviewed and adjusted.

The changes revealed in the findings suggest that Singapore could see more intense and frequent bouts of heavy rainfall as a result.

In Singapore, the number of days each year with heavy rainfall of more than 70mm in an hour has already shown a spike.

It rose from five days in 1980 to 10 days in 2012.

The annual maximum rainfall intensity in an hour also increases from 80mm in 1980 to 107mm in 2012.

The findings also imply that increased temperatures, which Singapore experiences only occasionally now, could become the norm in the future.

Aggressive climate change could affect how Singaporeans carry out their daily activities and the way future infrastructure is planned.

The findings from the international study will be used to provide updated projections of aspects like temperature, rainfall and sea level changes in Singapore’s second National Climate Change study.

This means the relevant government agencies will be well-prepared to cope with the impact of such changes in the future.

The second study started in November 2012.

The Centre for Climate Research Singapore will work with the UK Met Office to project climate parameters in greater detail to help the government better understand the local impact of climate change.

Dr Chris Gordon, director of the Centre for Climate Research Singapore at the Meteorological Service Singapore, said: “Heavy rainfall on the extreme end leads to flooding. This is the main impact of concern and so those projections need to be taken into account in terms of such things as the drainage infrastructure…

“These are already being taken into account in Singapore in the planning that’s going on. But these updated projections will feed into that process to ensure it’s robust against those future changes.”

Separately, the second phase of the first National Climate Change study concluded this year.

This phase looked into the impact of climate change on issues such as public health, biodiversity, the energy consumption of buildings and urban temperature profile.

The findings have been disseminated to the relevant agencies to use in their resilience plans, which include enhancing the stability and connectivity of existing green areas and putting in place plans to better understand the effects of urbanisation together with climate change.

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