Best of our wild blogs: 5 Jul 19

Delicate coral garden at Chek Jawa
wild shores of singapore

Read more!

Temperatures in Singapore could hit 40°C as early as 2045: Scientists

LOW YOUJIN Today Online 4 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE — By 2045, Singaporeans could face some days of the year when temperatures soar as high as a scorching 40°C.

At best, this sweltering scenario could be delayed to as late as 2065 onwards, according to a suite of simulations conducted by a team of scientists at the Centre for Climate Research Singapore, which is part of the Meteorological Service Singapore.

Dr Muhammad Eeqmal Hassim, a senior research scientist at the centre, told TODAY on Thursday (July 4) that this is the worst case scenario if the world continues to emit greenhouse gases at a rate that is “business as usual”.

“It (days of 40°C) won’t be a one-off event. There'll be some days starting from as early as 2045. And that's what we saw in the results. Some models are later. And so that's why we tend to give a range (that is) as early as 2045, possibly, or as late as 2065 onwards,’’ he said.

The scientist’s dire warnings come on the back of a recent four-day heatwave across western Europe that killed at least seven people.

Read more!

Second phase of construction begins for Tuas mega port

Michelle Teo Channel NewsAsia 4 Jul 19;

SINGAPORE: A caisson, a watertight structure about the height of a 10-storey HDB block, was installed at the site of the upcoming Tuas mega port on Thursday (Jul 4) to mark the start of its second phase of development.

At 387 hectares, this phase is the largest of the total four to be reclaimed. When fully operational, it will feature 21 deep-water berths, offering a capacity of 21 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo annually.

The completed Tuas mega port will be able to handle up to 65 million TEUs a year.

A total of 227 of the caissons will eventually be transported offshore and sunk into the water to form part of the wharf structure, which will span 8.6km.

Read more!

As Malaysia Bans Sand Exports, Singapore Says It’s Using Less

Anisah Shukry and Philip Heijmans Bloomberg 4 Jul 19;

Singapore said it’s been trying to reduce reliance on sand, as neighboring Malaysia announced a ban on all exports of sea sand since last year on environmental concerns.

The city-state piloted a polder development in outlying Pulau Tekong that uses less sand compared to regular reclamation, a spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of National Development said in a statement. The government has also sought to diversify its sources of sand to ensure resilient supply, the spokesperson said.

The ministry was responding to questions after Malaysia’s Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said that the country’s sea sand will be limited for domestic use only. The exports ban won’t affect ties with Singapore as it isn’t related to the city-state’s reclamation efforts, he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Read more!

Malaysia, Johor: 'Kim Kim clean-up not done properly'

Kalbana Perimbanayagam New Straits Times 5 Jul 19;

PASIR GUDANG: A group of Pasir Gudang residents has accused state authorities and agencies of failing to properly manage the disposal of chemical waste from the Sungai Kim Kim incident in March.

This, they said, had led to the air pollution incident in the district last month, which saw the temporary closure of 111 schools after scores of schoolchildren fell ill.

Pasir Putih Residents Environmental Pollution Action Committee deputy chairman Mohd Rafee Abdullah said it had reason to believe the recent incident was a result of poor chemical waste management in Sungai Kim Kim.

“The waste from the river clean-up was collected and disposed of, while the rest was buried under tonnes of soil.

“And now, it has resurfaced in the form of vapours, which polluted the air and affected residents.”

Rafee said the residents had conducted their own investigation by visiting affected areas and speaking to those working in the industrial plants.

He said they had photographic evidence to back their claims.

Read more!

Indonesia: Aceh's 20-hectare peatland engulfed by fire amid dry season

Antara 4 Jul 19;

Suka Makmue, Aceh (ANTARA) - Fire scorched 20 hectares of peatland in two villages of Nagan Raya District, Aceh, Thursday afternoon, amid the dry season that has mired fire-extinguishing efforts, Nagan Raya Disaster Mitigation Agency's (BPBD's) Acting Head Hamidi stated.

In a bid to prevent the fire, gutting certain peatland areas in Cot Mue Village in Tadu Raya Sub-district and Kuala Tripa Village in Tripa Makmur Sub-district, from further worsening, BPBD workers had built canal blockings, he revealed.

"We have been able to localize the fire by building canal blockings at several locations, but our endeavor to douse it could not as yet be done completely," Hamidi remarked, adding that the fire-razed areas belong to the local villagers.

In putting out the fire, the BPBD workers collaborated with personnel from the military and police as well as members of the community by installing water pumps at various locations, as fire trucks were unable to reach the disaster zone, he noted.

Read more!

Indonesia: Jakarta’s air quality kills its residents – and it’s getting worse

Choked up citizens have had enough and are taking the government to court over Jakarta’s chronic smog, Kate Walton points out.
Kate Walton Channel NewsAsia 5 Jul 19;

JAKARTA: The end of the Ramadan fasting period is marked by a week-long holiday in Indonesia. In Jakarta, this means that almost half the population leave the city to travel back to their hometowns and villages to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families.

Usually, this exodus is marked by a noticeable improvement in Jakarta’s air quality, with clear blue skies appearing as the road traffic all but disappears.

This year, however, on Jun 4, one day before the Idul Fitri holiday, Jakarta had the worst air quality in the world, according to AirVisual, an air quality monitoring app. With an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 210, Indonesia’s capital easily ranked above other notoriously polluted cities, such as Beijing, Dubai and New Delhi.

Read more!

Reforestation could cut carbon levels by two-thirds, study says

Issam AHMED, AFP Yahoo News 5 Jul 19;

Washington (AFP) - Good news: we can help halt climate change through a massive campaign of reforestation, according to a new study published Thursday.

Bad news: it would require covering an area the size of the United States in new trees, and even then some scientists are skeptical about the paper's conclusions.

Such an effort could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions and reduce overall levels in the atmosphere to their lowest in almost a century, according to the research that was carried out by ETH Zurich and published in Science.

The study is the first to attempt to quantify how many trees the Earth can support, where to plant them and how much carbon they could store.

"We all knew restoring forests could play a part in tackling climate change, but we had no scientific understanding of what impact this could make," said co-author Thomas Crowther.

"Our study shows clearly that forest restoration is the best climate change solution available today."

Read more!