Scorching weather, followed by heavy rain and strong winds, are no stranger to our tropical island. Not only is climate change a global issue, it is also a current social issue in Singapore! Hence, it is important that we each play our part in reducing its impact on our environment before it affects every aspect of our lives; from food security to housing, and even the amount of sweat we produce daily!
With temperatures expected to rise by 1.5℃ between 2030 and 2052, we’ll soon be drenched in sweat every day and be complaining about the weather if we don’t do something about it now.
What Is Climate Change?
Climate change is a long-term change in the average temperature and weather patterns. To put it simply, it is the result of global warming.
Global warming can be affected by numerous factors, from Earth’s distance from the sun, to changes in the ocean and even volcanic eruptions. However, human activity is also one large contributing factor; activities that drive increased emissions of greenhouse gases ultimately lead to the increase in global temperatures.
Climate Change Impact On Singapore
You might be thinking “but, I don’t feel like anything has changed”. Well, the impacts of climate change in Singapore may not seem like much to you, but have a look at these statistics1:
I.The mean annual temperature in Singapore has increased from 26.9℃ to 28℃ between 1980 and 2020
II.Sea levels increased by 1.2mm to 1.7mm per year between 1975 and 2020
III.Annual rainfall increased at the rate of 67mm per decade between 1980 and 2019.
Daily temperatures in Singapore used to hover around 26℃ to 29℃. However, we are now experiencing 30℃ to 35℃ temperatures almost every day, apart from the days when it pours and temperatures dip to about 22℃.
As a low-lying city-state with land mostly a few metres above sea level, we are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As sea levels continue to rise, how would you feel about having to swim or take a boat ride to and from various parts of Singapore?
According to the Centre for Climate Research Singapore, we could experience an increase in daily mean temperatures of 1.4℃ to 4.6℃ by the end of the century. If we’re constantly complaining about the hot weather now, how are we going to survive even hotter days?
With the rise in temperature, increasingly severe weather conditions will eventually affect our water supply, biodiversity, greenery, and public health. So, what should we do?
What Can We Do To Save Our Environment?
While governments around the world and in Singapore have launched large-scale initiatives to mitigate the effects of climate change, we, as individuals, also have a role to play in resolving this social issue and saving the environment. Here are some examples of what we can do.
Knowing what is wrong and how important it is to prevent climate change is a good start to being more mindful of the way we live and interact with our environment.
Attending seminars, exhibitions, and other activities hosted by NParks, the Nature Society of Singapore, and other organisations are some other ways we can learn more about our environment and the effects of climate change. There are also free guided tours available in our nature reserves for those interested in learning more about Singapore’s biodiversity issues.
After understanding more about how Singapore’s biodiversity and ecology can affect climate change, the next step is to get involved in maintaining and protecting our natural environment.
Do you know that there are volunteer-led coastal cleanups that you can actively participate in? These cleanups aim to remove trash and debris from our coastlines! Alternatively bask in the spirit of volunteering and togetherness by assisting in community gardens, or even helping out at the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), a wildlife rescue centre. All of these are simple ways to help preserve our environment while reducing our carbon footprint.
3. Lifestyle Changes
According to an online survey conducted on HappyDot.sg, an online survey site for money in Singapore, only 20% of 1071 respondents bring their own reusable bags to the supermarket, 60% bring their own bags occasionally, and 20% do not bring their own bags at all. Bringing our own reusable bags while doing grocery shopping is definitely a lifestyle habit that we can work on!
Apart from that, there are many other things we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon footprint and slow the rate of global warming.
They include taking public transportation instead of driving or owning a car, using energy-efficient appliances, reducing plastic use, recycling, setting air conditioners to 25℃ as well as turning off lights and appliances when not in use.
In order to encourage Singaporeans to implement such changes, the government is also giving out e-vouchers to some households to help them switch to energy and water-efficient appliances. These e-vouchers can be used to offset their purchases.
Even if these lifestyle changes appear insignificant, if everyone commits to them, they can result in a noticeable change and even significantly slow down global warming.
The Earth is both our home and the home of future generations; protecting our environment is an essential part of daily life and must be done to ensure that not only we, but future generations, have a safe and comfortable place to live in. Will you do your part today?
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