03 January 2009

"No clear rise in sea level in Singapore in last 12 years"

"Our data, based on a measurement of maximum tide levels, show no clear rise in sea level in Singapore over the last 12 years", said Associate Professor Ho Juay Choy, principle fellow at the Energy Studies Institute (ESI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Super high tide at Chek Jawa boardwalk in Oct 08

Previous reports say that a metre-high rise in sea level is enough for several areas around the island to be submerged. 'The increased probability of flooding and coastal erosion as well as saltwater intrusion into fresh water reservoirs are some of the possible consequences,' said Associate Professor Matthias Roth of the department of geography at NUS.

While Singapore may not be drowning yet, it is getting hotter here and at a faster rate over the last two decades.

Last year's average temperature of 27.5 deg C, was 0.6 deg C higher than the average temperature over the last 50 years of 26.9 deg C, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

From 1951 to 1979, average temperature levels were below this long-term average. But since 1983, they have been on the rise, hovering between 0.1 deg C and 0.6 deg C above the long-term mean.

The NEA said it was difficult to determine how much of the upward trend was due to global warming and how much to Singapore's rapid development and urbanisation over the past 30 years.

'But the trend is consistent with rising global temperature levels,' a spokesman added.

These findings will be part of a country report for Singapore on the Regional Review of the Economics of Climate Change for South-east Asia. The report is being prepared for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Singapore's carbon intensity - which measures the ratio of carbon emissions to economic activity - has improved from 0.28 kt/$m (kilotonnes/million GDP) in 1990 to 0.20 kt/$m in 2006.

'This is a direct result of Singapore's efforts to switch from fuel oil to natural gas for power generation and initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy,' said Prof Ho.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Singapore's carbon intensity levels are below the world average.

From Singapore is hotter than before Amresh Gunasingham, Straits Times 3 Jan 09;

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