Singapore warming faster than average

Singapore has warmed gradually by about 0.25 deg C in each decade from 1948 to 2015, with eight of the 10 warmest years here occurring in the last two decades. The global increase is 0.12 deg C per decade over the same period.
Singapore has warmed gradually by about 0.25 deg C in each decade from 1948 to 2015, with eight of the 10 warmest years here occurring in the last two decades. The global increase is 0.12 deg C per decade over the same period.ST FILE PHOTO

Temperatures here have risen at a rate more than double that of the global average over the last six decades, with rapid urbanisation being a likely major contributor.

According to the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS), Singapore has warmed gradually by about 0.25 deg C in each decade from 1948 to 2015, with eight of the 10 warmest years here occurring in the last two decades.

Meanwhile, the global increase in temperature has been much lower, at 0.12 deg C per decade over the same period.

In fact, the annual mean temperature here last year was 28.4 deg C, close to 1 deg C above the 1981 to 2010 average - making 2016 the hottest year on record.

Being a city state, Singapore has been affected by various human activities influencing the local climate, the MSS said.

It added: "While greenhouse warming has contributed to the rise in temperature... urbanisation has also likely played a role in the warming over Singapore, as measured by MSS' network of sensors."

Most of the additional warming over land areas occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s - which was when Singapore was developing rapidly. "The effect of urbanisation makes the temperatures at night warmer, and can thus raise the level of discomfort during rest at night," the MSS added.

"Apart from man-made heat emissions that can contribute to higher warming over urban areas, factors like the blockage of heat release back to space by buildings and reduction of wind speeds in urban areas, resulting in less cooling via convection, can also contribute to the higher warming."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore warming faster than average'. Print Edition | Subscribe