Communications

 
 

The Community Engagement Office aims to build the identity of the Observatory beyond the scientific community, reaching government and leadership, educators, partners, and the media. This is achieved by elevating our scientists’ research and expressing the importance of Earth science awareness through both local and international media, and through the Observatory’s social channels.

Blog

“The Legend that Saves Lives”

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113 years ago, on 4 January 1907, a powerful magnitude (M) 8.2-8.4 earthquake occurred off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake belonged to a special class called “tsunami earthquakes” that do not generate very strong shaking, but can result in large tsunamis.

The tsunami that was produced struck Nias and Simeulue, killing thousands. It also struck the distant shores of Sri Lanka, India, and the island of Reunion. The first earthquake was later followed by another quake measuring approximately M 7.0, resulting in the destruction of countless houses.

In the years that followed, the sequence got jumbled and the two events were conflated as one, but the 1907 disaster was preserved in local memory by way of the legend of the Smong – a Devayan word for “tsunami”. According to the legend, if you feel the ground shaking violently and you see the seawater receding, run for higher ground as quickly as possible.

This oral history is credited for...

“The History of the World's Climate Captured in a Snail’s Shell”

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At the 13th International Conference on Paleoceanography held on the 2nd to 6th September 2019 in Sydney, Australia, Dr Yama Dixit, a Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), gave a talk on the historical variations of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) that she had discovered were recorded in the shells of freshwater snails found in the lakes of India.

When the world’s climate changes in significant or unexpected ways, these anomalies impact different regions in a dissimilar manner. During the last Little Ice Age between 1500 and 1850 AD, for example, the Western Himalayas experienced surprisingly warmer spring temperatures while the northern latitudes were covered in more snow than usual. Such regional variations arise mostly from complex...

“A Fireball Seen Over Singapore and Johor”

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In the early morning at about 5am on 12 February 2020, a bright object was seen in the sky. It blazed over Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and its lights were caught on two dash-cam videos. The video that was filmed in Singapore was captured near the Nanyang Technological University campus, next to the Jalan Bahar flyover.

When an object enters the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up on entry, the way we name it depends on how big it is, as well as how bright. For example, an asteroid is a piece of rocky, iron, or icy debris, over one metre in diameter, flying through space, while a meteoroid is an object measuring less than one metre.

Once this object enters the atmosphere and begins to burn up, the light emitted is...

Media

We work with the media to provide expert commentary on topics including earth science phenomena, geohazard crises, and new research findings.

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