20 June 2013

Singapore's every day haze: reason for haze level peak at night?

Even on the bluest sky day, there is usually a layer of haze over Singapore's southern industrial areas. Does this ever-present level of pollution exacerbate smoke haze from Indonesian fires?
A layer of haze over Jurong Island seen from Sentosa.
Is that why haze levels climb to dangerous levels at night? As the build up of every day 'haze' from traffic and industries in Singapore during the day, adds to the smoke from Indonesia?
From NEA

During our many travels to the Southern Islands, we often see build up of emissions over installations like those at Pulau Bukom.
Flaring at Pulau Bukom from dugong feeding trails on Terumbu Pempang Laut
Emissions from Pulau Bukom from a submerged reef
which had dugong feeding trails in its seagrass meadows.

I often notice lots of emissions especially well before dawn.
Flaring at petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom
Sometimes, massive flaring can happen on Pulau Bukom which can have nasty environmental impacts. During one such period, NEA said the flare at Pulau Bukom has 'not impacted the air quality on the main island of Singapore so far, and there is no cause for concern'.
Flaring at Shell refinery on Pulau Bukom
Andy Dinesh shared this video clip of THE SOUND of flaring (like jet engines!)

There is also often 'clouds' of emissions hanging over Jurong Island.
Emissions and flaring at Jurong Island with Pulau Hantu

Emissions seem more obvious at night
Emissions over Jurong Island

Another look at the haze over Jurong Island from a submerged reef.
Jurong Island from Terumbu Pempang Darat
Sometimes massive flaring also seen at Jurong Island.
Flaring on Jurong Island seen from Cyrene Reef
Besides causing pollution in the air, such emissions can also pollute the water, like an oil slick from the sky.
MORE photos of flaring and industrial emissions in our Southern islands on wildsingapore flickr.

Can it get worse?
How will Singapore's Eastern air quality be affected by future plans to relocate to Pengerang, Johor a petrochemical complex that was rejected in Taiwan for environmental and health reasons?

The official stand on air pollution in Singapore?
Today, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a facebook post: "No country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans' health and wellbeing". Does this statement only apply when haze reaches hazardous levels?

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