Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 24 Oct 2018 by:

Let’s face it – the use of plastics has been our way of life. How many of us (at least those in our twenties) can recall going to the wet market with our parents when we were young without using a single plastic bag? Probably none. That’s the way we were brought up.

But just because something has become habitual and is a social norm does not mean that it is right, or that it has to stay that way.

The effects of plastic pollution today are not unfamiliar to most. We see news of marine animals ingesting or being trapped in plastic debris, all over social and mainstream media. We know of studies that have found that microplastics are making their way into our food chain[1][2].

But exactly how much of this can we attribute to our daily lives? It is not common that we...

Submitted on 03 Oct 2018 by:
The Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise, a special blog series by four Masters students from the University of Melbourne.

Our previous blog posts in the Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise discussed the science behind sea-level rise, as well as the effects on Singapore as global temperatures increase and sea levels rise. If you have missed reading our first two blogs, you can find them here:

The Science of Sea-Level Rise: How Climate Change will Hurt Singapore

Why Your Chicken Rice Depends on Sea-Level Rise

These blog posts should make it clear that Singapore is...

Submitted on 26 Sep 2018 by:
The Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise, a special blog series by four Masters students from the University of Melbourne.

Sea-level rise (SLR) will affect all Singaporeans whether that be the businessman, the factory worker, or the high school student. Everyone will be impacted from the effects of rising sea levels. 

As emphasised in our first post of this special blog series on climate change in Singapore, the rate and magnitude of sea-level rise are increasing. The impacts of this acceleration will affect all aspects of Singaporean life.

In this blog post, we will explore aspects of food and water security, and the prospects of Singaporeans becoming...

Submitted on 19 Sep 2018 by:

The Singapore Series on Sea-Level Rise, a special blog series by four Masters students from the University of Melbourne.

We know human-induced climate change is real. It is happening across the world because of rising concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Sometimes it is hard to know if the climate is changing if you are isolated from many of its effects. However, countless populations are already exposed to the impacts of climate change, which include: warming temperatures, changing rainfall, increased droughts and wildfires, decline in agricultural yield, more flooding, and many other consequences.

Although Singapore is not presently in a climate crisis, the effects are not far away. Other than extreme temperatures, one of...

Submitted on 05 Apr 2018 by:

Channel NewsAsia held a dialogue session on 24 January 2018 at the Funan Showsuite. Associate Professor Adam Switzer, a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore, together with a panel of speakers, shared their thoughts on CNA’s INSIGHT episode, Fukushima — 6 years after the Daiichi disaster. They explored topics that looked at how safe it is for residents to return to Fukushima, the damage to the ecosystems there, as well as its clean-up.

Assoc Prof Switzer led the discussion on the long-term damages from alternative energy sources, and if clean energy might be the solution. “There is a rising demand for energy in Singapore due to growing industries. But what are the acceptable risks?” he asked. “The hazard zone of a nuclear power plant is the size of...

Submitted on 21 Dec 2017 by:

Dear EOS Community,

As the year comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for your continued interest and support in the research, initiatives and programs being conducted here at the Earth Observatory. Over the past year, your increased engagement has helped us to better understand your interests in geohazard research and provide content to meet them. From publications to awards and new blog series, here is a look back on a few highlights from 2017.

As data from the Mentawai Earthquake Gap—Tsunami Earthquake Risk Assessment (MEGA-TERA) marine expedition carried out in 2015 was being analysed and while new data from the Marine Investigation of the Rupture Anatomy of the 2012 Great Earthquake (MIRAGE) expedition was being collected in 2016, we were already planning a third...

Submitted on 30 Nov 2017 by:

Sedimentation expert Adam Switzer says his years as a professional surfer has shaped much of his research and work.

As a child, Associate Professor Adam Switzer was always on the lookout for the next big wave. At the age of 17, he became a professional surfer.

Juggling between his books and his surfboard, the Australian spent a large part of his next nine years being tossed about by crests and swells, before calling it quits because of a bad shoulder injury.

With the heady days of riding waves behind him, Assoc Prof Switzer decided to study them instead, focusing his research on tsunamis and storms.

“The physical cumulative stress of surfing was something that pushed me to go and get a ‘real’ job,” said Assoc Prof Switzer.  “My surfing career did...

Submitted on 16 Nov 2017 by:

 

Singaporeans dread the dangerous haze incidents that occur each year. Thick, smoky air dries our throats and irritates our eyes. It makes breathing difficult and can cause lasting damage to our lungs.

During each haze period, atmospheric chemist Mikinori Kuwata and his team of six get down to work. They measure the chemical composition of air particles at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) campus, located in the west of Singapore and thus close to the source of the haze in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Assistant Professor Kuwata and his team cannot prevent transboundary haze, but they are on a mission to provide scientific findings that will help the region combat it. 

“The job of an atmospheric chemist is to understand the atmosphere. The haze...

Submitted on 10 Nov 2017 by:

Call her a nerd, but earthquake scientist Judith Hubbard loves geology, and she is not afraid to admit it.

Geology is all around us, evident to those who care to look, like structural geologist and self-proclaimed nerd, Judith Hubbard.

As a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), the tectonics researcher has covered almost every surface of her office with work.

Both sides of her office door are plastered, top to bottom, with expedition photos, while graphs and metre-long topographical maps of Nepal and Singapore stretch across her walls. A slew of geology books and stacks of paper threaten to engulf her entire desk.

“Well, they say an empty desk is a sign of an empty mind,” says the 33-year-old, who is also an Assistant...

Submitted on 30 Aug 2017 by:

The Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF) is back for its second year, featuring 21 films from 14 countries. SGEFF is a space for people from the public, private, and creative sectors to come together to learn about pressing environmental challenges, and to share positive solutions to these issues. 

The hosts of FirstLook Asia, a daily Channel NewsAsia Programme, sat down with SGEFF Executive Director Jacqui Hocking to find out more about what to expect from SGEFF. Joining them was Professor Isaac Kerlow, an award-winning filmmaker and Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.

Prof Kerlow spoke about the process of making his new film, 'Orang Rimba,' which traces the impacts of forest development on a group of...

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