Climate Change and the Environment


Being in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Singapore's air composition is heavily influenced by winds bringing clouds and air from the northern and southern regions. Hence, regional effects need to be studied to allow for more accurate assessments of climate change impacts on Singapore.

Climate change studies include downscaling of global climate and ocean models for the Southeast Asia domain. This would provide more detailed and accurate projections of the climate parameters (e.g. temperature, wind, and precipitation), sea level rise, storm surges, and currents. High resolution climate models are being used on these studies. Satellite images from the region, other than available observed datasets, are very useful for validation of the climate models used for downscaling.

Other related research activities at NUS include studies on the effects of land use change on climate change, atmospheric monitoring of aerosols, and a wide range of hydrological studies.

In Southeast Asia, peatlands occupy 12% of the total land area. Peatlands are carbon sinks and freshwater sources. Degradation of peatlands can have serious impacts on water resources and climate in general. To better understand their significance, an integrated research team from NUS is working with regional and international partners (such as LI PI, Indonesia) to establish a knowledge-based platform in investigating atmospheric, terrestrial, ecological processes, and economic impacts of peatlands in the region. This information is useful for environmental mitigation, conservation, and sustainable development of regional resources.



Terrestrial Processes Affecting Greenhouse Gases Emissions from Tropical Peatlands: Lessons from a Field Study

The emissions of biogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) and smoke from terrestrial processes lead to significant changes in the amount and composition of atmospheric particles (including soot, cloud condensation nuclei, etc.). In terms of the aerosol components, recurrent peatland fires also emit large amounts of black carbons and organic carbons two important components affecting radiative forcing; in fact, aerosols in the region, during the burning season, affect localized radiative forcing more than GHGs.