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Source: Asia Pacific Region 2 – Singapore

The CSRPO oversees the National Sea Level Programme where grants have been awarded to two research projects to better understand sea level change in the region

Singapore, 5 November 2020 – The National Environment Agency (NEA) has launched the Climate Science Research Programme Office (CSRPO) today, as part of efforts to strengthen climate science capabilities in Singapore to tackle the potential impact of climate change. The CSRPO is set up under the Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS), the research division of NEA’s Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

2          The Programme Office will oversee research grant programmes, such as the National Sea Level Programme (NSLP). CCRS has awarded approximately $2.7 million in grants under the NSLP to two projects by research teams from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), part of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).

The Climate Science Research Programme Office

3             The CSRPO will lead efforts to formulate and implement the National Climate Science Research Masterplan, thereby aligning climate research areas to our national needs and priorities. It will also coordinate the development of core climate science research and development capabilities by leveraging and supporting various capability nodes across our local research community. This approach will help build a strong and vibrant climate science research landscape in Singapore.

4          The Masterplan will focus on five key research areas where climate change can have significant impact on Singapore, namely sea level rise; water resources and flood management; food security and biodiversity; human health; and the energy sector. It will also engage in cross-cutting research areas, including the application of climate science information to adaptation plans.

5          The CSRPO will collaborate closely with scientists and researchers in our local research institutes of higher learning (IHLs). Currently, IHLs in Singapore carry out climate science research in a number of areas, such as ocean and storm surge modelling, microclimate, paleoclimate, and climate change risk management. The CSRPO will further enhance local capabilities in climate science through direct grant calls to the IHLs. This will expand the pool of experts contributing to climate science research and translating knowledge to national policy and adaptation plans.

6          Professor Dale Barker, Director of CCRS said, “To best support Singapore’s response to the climate emergency, it is important that decision making on climate adaptation policies is supported by robust science. The CSRPO contributes to CCRS’ overall mission through coordination of climate science research that underpins our understanding of climate change impact. For example, the NSLP will improve our scientific understanding of sea level rise affecting Singapore and the surrounding region, which would inform our agencies’ efforts to defend our coastlines from the impact of sea level rise.”

Research Projects under the NSLP

7          The NSLP aims to bring together the climate research community in Singapore to address key knowledge gaps in the understanding and modelling of physical mechanisms of local and regional sea level rise and variability. Findings from the NSLP will contribute to the CCRS-led Third National Climate Change Study (V3) to update projections of Singapore’s key climate variables including rainfall, temperature and sea level, due in 2022.

8          Two research projects have been awarded grants under the NSLP. They will be conducted by research teams led by Professor Benjamin Horton and Associate Professor Adam Switzer from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) at NTU Singapore, respectively.

9          The project led by Professor Horton aims to further understand past and present sea-level changes and their driving mechanisms. This work will contribute to improved future sea level projections for Singapore and Southeast Asia. Part of the project will focus on the study of mangroves and coral microatolls, to improve understanding of past sea-level change. New statistical modelling approaches will be employed to quantify the driving mechanisms of sea-level change that will inform future sea level projections.

10        Singapore and the central Sunda Shelf region face coastal flooding risks associated with temporary sea level highs from storm surges and tsunamis. Associate Professor Switzer and his team aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of integrated coastal hazards for the region, to understand and better predict and respond to extreme sea level events. The team will also conduct a pilot study on an extreme sea level warning system and monitoring network using floating global navigation satellite system (GNSS) buoys and existing GNSS system.

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MIL OSI Asia Pacific News