Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 10 Apr 2019 by:

Did my last blog post about the Dynamic Earth Games (DEG) leave you hungry for more details about the games? Well, I hope to satisfy your curiosity in this second post.

The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) collaborated with BOHO Interactive and the Science Centre Singapore to develop seven different games. These fall into three broad categories:

Volcanoes and Typhoons, Assessing Risk, and Evacuation.

Volcanoes and Typhoons

The Dynamic Earth Games explain the science behind natural hazards with a strong focus on geology and meteorology. While playing the games, you will learn some of the signs of an impending volcanic eruption and the tools that...

Submitted on 03 Apr 2019 by:

What makes up the exciting memories of my first interaction with science? I recall touching the slimy texture of snails, sniffing ammonia salt (also known as “smelly salt”), and making my sister’s hair stand with a balloon.

For me, science is a journey – a fun-filled adventure that satisfies our curiosity of the universe. Think about it. What makes us enjoy playing soccer, chess, or Candy Crush? Games are fun because they involve elements of competition with others, even ourselves, and some require us to cooperate with one or more people. This sense of competition and camaraderie are essentially what makes us enjoy playing games.

The Dynamic Earth Games, an Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) series of board games and card games about natural hazards, use these...

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 25 Jan 2018 by:

The first time Assistant Professor Wei Shengji felt an earthquake, it was in 2008, when he was an exhausted graduate student sound asleep in his room in California. When the 5.5-magnitude earthquake rattled the cups and books off his bedside table, he woke up, wondered what was going on, and then fell promptly back to sleep.

On hindsight, the 35-year-old seismologist thinks he “should have gotten up and taken a picture,” especially since he ended up studying that very earthquake in the lab, later that day.

But the Los Angeles event, now christened the 2008 Chino Hills earthquake, is almost trivial compared to Southeast Asia’s many earthquakes, said Asst. Prof Wei. After five years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Caltech Seismological Laboratory in California, he...

Submitted on 05 Jan 2018 by:

After watching a documentary about volcanoes when he was seven years old, Asst. Prof Benoit Taisne decided that in the future he would become a volcanologist in order to save lives.

“The documentary showed footage of a volcano erupting, which led to many deaths, and I felt that this shouldn’t be the case. Like all my friends who wanted to be firefighters growing up, I also wanted to be a ‘firefighter,’ but for volcanoes,” said the 36-year-old French national, who has been studying volcanoes for the last 20 years. He is now a Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and an Assistant Professor at the Asian School of the Environment in Nanyang Technological University.

Asst. Prof Taisne aims to develop tools that can be used in real-time to...

Submitted on 07 Dec 2017 by:

French volcanologist Caroline Bouvet de Maisonneuve leaves no stone unturned while conducting research.

Whenever a new building is being constructed at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Assistant Professor Bouvet de Maisonneuve assesses its foundations as part of an ongoing research project exploring the risk of volcanic hazards in Singapore. She is looking out for layers of volcanic ash in the soil. 

Asst. Prof Bouvet de Maisonneuve’s research team compiled a database of all known volcanic eruptions in Southeast Asia. They are currently assessing a core from the Kallang River basin for traces of ash.

But safety always comes before curiosity for the 33-year-old whenever she is in the field. “It’s important to put yourself out there and be in the field...

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...

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