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  Straits Times 7 Mar 07
Singapore: 2-year study to gauge impact of global warming
Jessica Cheam

A MAJOR study has been commissioned by the Government to look into how global warming and climate change will impact Singapore.

The two-year study aims to better understand what the possible long-term effects could be, Environment and Water Resources Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.

This would cover rainfall patterns, sea-level changes and extreme weather conditions, among others. The study, which began earlier this year, is being conducted by the National University of Singapore's Tropical Marine Science Institute, and includes local and foreign experts. Its preliminary findings are expected to be available next year. The exact date will be announced later, said the National Environment Agency (NEA).

The study will incorporate latest scientific research on climate change, including a report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released earlier this year. That report, which evaluates the risk of climate change brought about by humans, made headlines last month as it said that signs of global warming are 'unequivocal' and that human activity is the main cause.

'Like other nations, Singapore will not be spared the effects and impacts of climate change,' Dr Yaacob told MPs.

Singapore has already put measures in place in response to earlier studies by the IPCC, which was set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation.

All reclaimed land, for example, are currently designed to be about 125cm above the highest recorded tide. This is well above the sea-level rise of 59cm projected by the IPCC report.

Dr Yaacob acknowledged that concern over climate change was on the rise.

He was responding to questions on the issue from MPs including Ms Lee Bee Wah (Ang Mo Kio GRC), who asked about studies on the impact of global warming.

Dr Yaacob also said that the NEA would be the lead agency on energy conservation and efficiency. Nominated MP Edwin Khew had asked if the Government would take the lead to develop Singapore as a centre for sustainable energy, and set up a central agency for this purpose.

Dr Yaacob also said the ministry's public consultation on the National Climate Change Strategy received over 1,300 responses. A notable theme which emerged was the need to make Singapore an energy-efficient nation.

Related articles on Global issues: climate change
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