15 September 2008

Singapore and rising sea levels

What do rising sea levels mean for Singapore?
Singapore city looks tiny under a vast sky
Here is the city centre under a vast sky, surrounded by seas. We often forget we are a tiny island.

Today, there's an article reviewing the impact on port cities, with Singapore's case considered.

from Rising sea levels: Stakes high for port cities
Michael Richardson, Straits Times 15 Sep 08;
full article also on the wildsingapore news blog

The number of people in 136 big port cities around the world is expected to grow threefold by the 2070s. If the prediction of scientists on global warming is correct, port cities will endure the intense effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, violent storms, flooding and land subsidence, according to a recent study for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In the OECD report, Singapore was given a relatively low risk rating for both population and assets exposed to coastal flooding in 2005 and in the 2070s. For example, Singapore's climate-exposed assets in the 2070s are projected to be worth around US$21 billion, putting it at No. 79 in the risk ranking for the world's 136 major port cities.

Two United States-based researchers concluded in 2005 that Singapore had the resources to protect its developed land zones from sea-level rise and inundation, and would be able to carry out effective adaptation measures.

The researchers found that the cost of protecting Singapore's developed coast - estimated at up to US$5.7 million per year by 2050, and as much as US$16.8 million per year by 2100 - was much less than the value of the land and assets at risk from coastal flooding.
So what's the plan for Singapore?
Here's some recent media articles about this issue
Can we say something about this?

Sustainable Singapore is an effort to gather public feedback by end October about what Singapore and Singaporeans can do about climate change. More about this in an earlier post.

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