Launch of the Climate Science Experts Network
LAUNCH OF THE CLIMATE SCIENCE EXPERTS NETWORK
Singapore, 3 February 2012 - The Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) is engaging both local and overseas researchers through a new platform for technical sharing: the Climate Science Experts Network (CSEN). MSS will organise CSEN seminars a few times a year, and welcomes Singapore-based scientists and engineers who are active in climate research to participate.
According to the Director-General of the MSS Ms Wong Chin Ling, “MSS’s Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS) is keen to develop research partnerships with local and international experts to better understand the science of climate change and to model its effects. The Experts Network will bring a range of interdisciplinary expertise in local academia to complement that of the CCRS. Together, we can build up Singapore’s expertise in climate science, to help augment national preparedness for climate change and inform policymakers in their decision making.”
The inaugural meeting of CSEN was held on 31 Jan 2012 at the Centre for Climate Research Singapore (CCRS), based in Paya Lebar. In attendance were 24 researchers from NUS, NTU and the Singapore-MIT Alliance (see Annex for listing). About 50 researchers are on the Network’s database of contacts.
In his address to the CSEN, LG(NS) Desmond Kuek, Permanent Secretary for the Environment and Water Resources spoke of the need to bridge science and policy more effectively. “The ideal situation is for all of Singapore’s experts, whether in universities or Government – to work cohesively and collaboratively.” He added that staying resilient was a dynamic process. “It is inevitable that as our knowledge base grows, new questions will arise and old assumptions will be overturned. We must have a constant sense of inquiry – sharing timely and relevant insights across disciplines, striving to prepare early against uncertainties.”
The technical sharing session kicked off with a keynote lecture by Dr Chris Gordon, Head of Science Partnerships at the UK Meteorological Office and a former head of its world-renowned Hadley Centre. Dr Gordon outlined the complexities of predicting rainfall patterns in the tropics and noted that extreme weather events could involve natural variability superposed on larger-scale trends.
“Forecasting the tropical high intensity and localised rainfall events in Singapore is one of the most challenging problems in weather science. It will require complex models and capabilities that are now only emerging in the global weather forecasting community.” Dr Gordon felt that local researchers could rally around the problem, saying: “How these events will change in the future as the climate warms, is also an urgent research issue that the Climate Science Experts Network can begin to address.”
Local researchers shared their work on topics such as sea-level rise, deforestation and the effect of soot/local pollutants (also known as “black carbon”). In an ensuing dialogue session, researchers gave feedback on how their efforts could fit into an overall framework for climate science in Singapore. There was recognition that greater synergies could be identified between diverse domain areas, with benefits for the whole research community.
Scientists and engineers interested in joining the Climate Science Experts Network can contact the Centre Manager of the CCRS, Ms Krysania Tan (Krysania_TAN@nea.gov.sg).