Singapore reaches out to climate change scientists as it grows research capabilities on tropical weather

The Centre for Climate Research Singapore was established in 2013 to develop research expertise in the weather and climate of Singapore and the South-east Asian region. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - United States President Donald Trump may have denounced climate change as a Chinese hoax, to the chagrin of climate scientists in the country.

But other countries have stepped up efforts to woo the scientists. The French government, for example, is offering grants to American climate scientists to live and continue their research in France.

Singapore, too, is reaching out to climate change scientists.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli told The Straits Times that the Centre for Climate Research Singapore "is growing its capabilities and welcomes collaborations and talented climate scientists who are interested and keen to work with us to deepen our understanding of tropical weather and climate".

The centre was established in 2013 under the Meteorological Services Singapore, which is part of the National Environment Agency, to develop research expertise in the weather and climate of Singapore and the South-east Asian region.

"The science behind tropical climate systems is still fairly undeveloped and we see a lot of potential in the Centre for Climate Research Singapore to be a leading research centre in this area," said Mr Masagos.

The climate research centre has five focus areas: climate projections, seasonal outlook, weather prediction, fundamental research on tropicalweather and climate processes in the region, as well as climatology and climate studies, which collects and archives Singapore's long-term climate records.

The World Meteorological Organisation has also opened its regional office for Asia and the South-West Pacific in Singapore. As it is co-located with the Centre for Climate Research, the collaboration will deepen regional partnerships, Mr Masagos added.

"We also have international research and innovation hubs such as the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology that will allow us to tap on international experts in other areas of climate research," he said.

Under Singapore's Research Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan - a blueprint guiding Singapore's research from 2016 to 2020 - $900 million in funding went to the Urban Solutions and Sustainability programme to support piloting, test-bedding and accelerating adoption of promising new technologies.

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