Through The Lens 2022: The Straits Times Photo Exhibition

The Straits Times Photo Exhibition explores the impact of global climate change on Singapore and showcases how even a small country can do its part to tackle the challenges of the crisis.

The fight against climate change is a global one. Find out how Singapore is doing its part to cut its carbon footprint and adapt to the changing climate.

Staff from the National Parks Board on a bird survey at the Mandai mudflats, against the backdrop of a rainbow on July 12, 2021. Singapore’s coastline is not only for important infrastructure such as ports, but is also host to a rich diversity of wildlife, such as migratory birds. The country sits on the East Asian- Australasian Flyway – the world’s longest “highway” for migratory birds. At the mudflats, these feathered travellers feed on crabs, worms and other burrowing invertebrates at low tide. Some of these birds come from as far north as the Arctic Circle to escape the winter chill. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
At low tide, animals such as wild boars (pictured) emerge on the mudflats of Pulau Ubin to forage for food. Photo was taken on Oct 18, 2021. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Volunteers help with reforestation efforts in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on April 6, 2021. By planting a specially curated range of native coastal and back mangrove plants, the rate of mangrove growth will be enhanced, especially in areas where the regeneration is lower. Mangroves help to soak up planet-warming carbon dioxide that is driving climate change and can capture more than three times the carbon in dryland tropical rainforests. The targeted planting of rare mangroves also helps increase the diversity of species. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Visitors to the intertidal area of Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin, on Oct 18, 2021. Singapore’s natural coastal areas, such as those on offshore Pulau Ubin or at Labrador Nature Reserve, offer city dwellers a green reprieve. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
National University of Singapore marine biologists (from left) Kikuzawa Yuichi Preslie, Lionel Ng and Toh Tai Chong on an expedition on April 7, 2021. They are part of a team which surveys corals growing on sloping seawalls off Lazarus Island. About 70 per cent of Singapore's coastline is protected by hard structures such as sea walls. Research is ongoing to see how these structures can be engineered to make them conducive for the blooming of marine life. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm on June 20, 2021. It is one of the world's largest inland floating solar photovoltaic systems, covering 45ha and spreading across 10 "islands". Occupying the space of 45 football fields in Tengeh Reservoir, the solar farm will produce 60 megawatt-peak of energy, enough to power around 16,000 four-room Housing Board flats for a year. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Solar panels at Sembcorp Tengeh Floating Solar Farm. While Singapore lacks land for large solar farms, it overcomes this constraint by deploying the panels on water bodies. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
About 12 per cent of Singapore’s coastline comprises sandy beaches, including this one at Pasir Ris in a photo taken on April 11, 2021. To address coastal erosion along the shorelines, the National Parks Board has implemented measures such as beach nourishment, soft armouring using geo-bags and the construction of sea dykes. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A vertical seawall surrounding Coney Island on April 15, 2021. Global heating can cause the sea level to rise in various ways. Water expands in volume when heated. This thermal expansion of water was the main driver of the rise in sea levels in the 20th century, at a rate of 1mm to 2mm a year. But rising sea levels today are coming from accelerating melting rates of land ice, dumping water into the ocean. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mangrove roots on St John's Island on April 7, 2021. Mangrove trees and their webs of tangled roots can trap sediment from the tides as they ebb and flow. This trait helps mangrove habitats keep pace with sea level rise — but only if the rate of increase is not too rapid. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Rocky shores like these that line Labrador Nature Reserve, seen in a photo taken on April 1, 2021, are rare habitats, making up less than 1 per cent of Singapore’s coastline. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Participants kayak near the mouth of Sungei Khatib Bongsu, one of Singapore's largest mangrove riverine habitats, towards their end-point at Sembawang Park on Oct 27, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Kayakers journey past the arching stilt roots of the Rhizophora along Sungei Khatib Bongsu on Oct 14, 2020. One of the most important functions of stilt roots is to uphold the mangrove and ensure its growing space. The mangroves protect the coast from rough tides, huge waves and strong winds. Another important function of stilt roots is to allow the exchange of gas in oxygen-poor sediments. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Solar panels on top of a pair of semi-detached houses in Happy Gardens estate in MacPherson on Aug 19, 2021. Singapore is pushing to tap renewable energy from the sun to help reduce its carbon footprint. Currently, more than 95 per cent of the Republic’s energy comes from natural gas, a fossil fuel. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Photovoltaic (PV) panels in a solar farm near the Singapore Expo are seen from a plane on Nov 5, 2021. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
A caisson is seen from an aerial view on Nov 6, 2021. One of the key features of the land reclamation process in the construction of the Tuas Port is the use of caissons (pictured) – pre-fabricated concrete structures each weighing around 15,000 tonnes and measuring up to 28m. Once sunk into the seabed, they are filled with rocks and sand, and serve as retaining structures for the port to be built on. To future-proof the port against rising sea levels, it will be built at least 5m above the mean sea level. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Two caissons at the caisson casting yard at Tuas Port during the second phase of the construction on Nov 13, 2021. One of the key features of the land reclamation process in the construction of the port is the use of caissons – pre-fabricated concrete structures that are sunk into the seabed and filled with rocks and sand, and will serve as retaining structures for the port to be built on. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
The construction of an entire caisson takes roughly a week and involves about 800 people working around the clock, as seen in a photo taken on Nov 7, 2021. They are split into two 12-hour shifts. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Workers from 10 Degree Solar fit solar panels into brackets at the highest rooftop of the Jubilee Church on Dec 14, 2021. The name of the solar panel installation company is a reference to the angle the panels in the tropics must be placed to get maximum sunshine. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
In an effort to go green, the incandescent bulbs at Jubilee Church – seen here in a Dec 12, 2021 photo – have been progressively replaced by more energy-efficient LED ones. In the same month, a solar panel installation was completed in the church in Tiong Bahru. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A driver scoops water out of his car at a flooded Gambir Walk as passers-by come to his aid on Nov 2, 2020. Rainfall patterns change due to human activity. This can lead to frequent bouts of more intense rainfall that overwhelm drainage systems and result in flash floods. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
A man crosses the road at Chinatown in heavy rain on Sept 27, 2021. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says bouts of rain can become more intense and frequent with each additional degree of warming. South-east Asia will also likely experience this. If the ground is covered in concrete and drainage systems are overwhelmed, there may be incidences of flash floods. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
A heavy downpour on Aug 24, 2021, causes the Sungei Ulu Pandan canal in Clementi to reach almost its full capacity. Rainfall in Singapore is highly variable. It is influenced by various factors including the vegetation and topography of the area, since terrain and coastlines shape how winds transport moisture. ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
An almost-full Sungei Ulu Pandan canal at Clementi after heavy rain on Aug 24, 2021. ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
A man crosses a traffic junction in Havelock Road during a heavy morning downpour on Aug 20, 2021. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Thick rain clouds loom over southern Singapore on March 25, 2021, amid a week of wet weather. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Beachgoers at East Coast Park on April 10, 2021. The City-East Coast stretch is one of four areas identified by national water agency PUB as being vulnerable to rising sea levels. The other three are at Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Kadut and around Jurong Island. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A woman shields herself from the sun while crossing the Esplanade Bridge in the late afternoon on Aug 7, 2020. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that global warming will cause more heat waves and higher temperatures, although the extent to which each region will be affected varies. In Singapore, the heat problem is exacerbated by its highly urbanised environment since concrete traps heat. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A woman beats the heat with an umbrella and a portable fan while crossing the road outside Bugis Junction on Sept 18, 2020. Local temperatures are 1.8 deg C higher than they were in 1948, data from the National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore shows. In contrast, global temperatures have warmed by about 1.1 deg C from pre-industrial times, which ended around 1850. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A resident crossing a partly flooded road in Hougang Avenue 8, where heavy rain in the morning has led to flash floods, on Aug 30, 2021. The deluge also led to rising water levels in Punggol Way near the slip road to Tampines Expressway. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
A worker waters the plants on the roof of the Green Pavilion near the Tanglin Gate of Singapore Botanic Gardens on March 5, 2021. Changing rainfall patterns brought on by climate change can also result in periods of drought, warn climate scientists. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Student Dayna Cheah photographs bleached corals at Sisters’ Islands on June 23, 2016, when the longest major coral bleaching episode was recorded in Singapore. As temperatures rise on land and underwater, the tropics can get unbearably hot for both humans and wildlife. When the mercury goes up, coral reefs lose their colour. If this happens too often and for too long, a reef’s function as a nursery for a multitude of other marine organisms can be threatened. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
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