Singapore could experience more 'unusually warm temperatures' in future

SINGAPORE - By the end of the century, Singapore could experience more unusually warm days, with average surface temperatures going up by as much as 4.6 degrees Celsius.

The mean daily temperature here could range from 28.8 to 30.1 deg C for the years 2070 to 2099. And, if no global mitigation action is carried out to reduce greenhouse emissions, the temperatures could increase to 30.3 to 32 deg C, compared to 27.4 deg C during the baseline period of 1980 to 2009.

The mean maximum daily temperature could go up to 34.9 to 36.7 deg C, compared to the baseline of 31.8 deg C.

These are some of the findings from Phase 1 of the Second Climate Change Study, released by the Meteorological Service Singapore's (MSS) Centre for Climate Change Research Singapore on Wednesday.

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"The findings imply that the unusually warm temperatures Singapore encounters occassionally could become the norm in the future and that the days with record temperatures above those experienced historically will become more frequent," said the MSS in a media release.

"Due to the high levels of humidity in Singapore, these projected rises in temperature will lead to increasing thermal discomfort and heat stress for those working outdoors," it added.

The study aims to provide key projections of changes in main climate variables of interest to Singapore, such as temperatures, rainfall and rises in sea level.

Phase 1 of the study was commissioned by the National Environment Agency in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom, under the government-formed Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change.

The findings on rainfall also showed an increasing trend in the intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events over Singapore especially during the wetter season.

The MSS said that the contrast between the wetter and drier months is "projected to become more pronounced".

"The study projects an upward trend in seasonal mean rainfall during the wet season of November to January, as well as greater dryness during months that are already relatively drier in the current climate," added the MSS.

The months of February and June to September are relatively drier compared to other times of the year.

Phase 2 of the study, which started last year, will make use of the projections from Phase 1 to examine the climate change impacts on areas such as biodiversity and greenery, as well as water resources and drainage.

The key findings can be expected by end of 2015.