IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE & ADAPTATION MEASURES
1. How will climate change affect Singapore?
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the increase in global temperature is likely to exceed 1.5C by the end of the century. Our world’s oceans will get warmer and ice melt will continue.
As a low-lying island city state, Singapore is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The Centre for Climate Research Singapore has projected that Singapore could experience an increase in daily mean temperature of 1.4C to 4.6C towards end of this century, more intense and frequent heavy rainfall events, and mean sea level rise of up to 1 metre by 2100.
Rising temperatures and reduced rainfall can affect our water supply, biodiversity and greenery, increase the energy demand for cooling, and pose implications for public health. For example, the occurrence of vector-borne diseases such as dengue could increase in a warmer environment.
For more details, please refer to our Climate Action Plan.
2. Is Singapore safe from rising sea levels?
As a low-lying island in the tropics, with 30 per cent of our island being less than 5 metres above sea level, any increase in sea levels caused by climate change is an immediate threat.
To cater for long-term sea level rise, the minimum land reclamation level in Singapore was raised from 3 to 4 metres above the mean sea level in 2011. This would be adequate based on the projected rise in sea level to 1 metre by 2100, based on the Second National Climate Change Study in 2015.
In addition, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) commissioned a Coastal Adaptation Study in 2013, to assess the potential impact of coastal inundation, and to study possible long-term adaptation measures. The Government is reviewing the findings of the CAS to develop strategies to protect Singapore’s coastline.
The Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS) will also initiate a National Sea Level Programme in 2019. The research programme aims to bring together researchers from CCRS, our local universities, and international experts, to deepen our understanding of sea level science and how a rise in sea level could impact Singapore.
3. What steps is Singapore taking to prepare itself for future dry spells?
PUB has developed a diversified water supply strategy through the Four National Taps: local catchment water, imported water, NEWater and desalinated water. NEWater and desalinated water are weather-resilient sources that help provide a buffer against dry spells, but they also require more energy to produce. To strengthen our water security and drought resilience, we are progressively expanding the capacities of these two taps to meet future water demand. While the Government continues to invest in infrastructure ahead of demand and make our water supply resilient against weather vagaries, the community also has a role to play in managing demand. By using water wisely and making every drop count, all of us can contribute to the sustainability of our water resource.
4. What is being done to minimise flash floods resulting from more frequent intense rainfall?
Rainfall trends in the last 30 years indicate that Singapore has experienced increasing rainfall intensities and an increasing frequency of intense storms. Climate change also brings about growing uncertainties with the weather.
PUB has taken a system-wide approach to introduce flexibility and adaptability to Singapore’s drainage system to cope with higher intensity storms. This goes beyond the conventional way of drainage management where drains and canals are deepened and widened. The system-wide approach incorporates solutions that slow down the flow of storm-water into the public drainage system. Details on this approach can be found here.
5. How prepared is Singapore against food scarcity resulting from climate change impacts on agriculture?
As a country that imports over 90 per cent of our food supply, Singapore is vulnerable to fluctuations in food supply and prices. To ensure that Singapore has access to food at affordable prices, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has put in place a Food Security Roadmap, with the core strategies of food source diversification and local production to ensure food security for Singapore. Further details can be found here.
The Government has also set a goal to meet 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030. This represents a multi-fold increase to our current production of 10 per cent. It will require our agri-food industry to transform into one that is highly productive, and uses climate-resilient and sustainable technologies that will enable us to overcome our land, water, energy and manpower constraints.