We’ve all complained about the weather in Singapore too many times to count. The year-round tropical climate is both hot and humid, a recipe for sweat and retreat into air-conditioned buildings. But recently, if you’ve noticed the heat getting more intense, you’re absolutely right. Global warming, coupled with a few other factors, is going to make the weather even more unbearable than it already is.
According to Muhammad Eeqmal Hassim, senior research scientist with the MSS Centre for Climate Research Singapore, Singapore’s maximum daily temperatures could reach 35 to 37 deg C by year 2100, if carbon emissions continue to rise at the same rate.
Other countries already experience weather hotter than this, but when you throw Singapore’s high humidity into the equation, it could lead to some serious health consequences. In the Channel NewsAsia show Why It Matters, it was shown that high temperatures, coupled with high humidity, could lead to greater heat stress levels. Our bodies will struggle to cope and it may even be deadly.
Due to high humidity, we can’t evaporate sweat to cool off as quickly. The body has to work harder to stay cool, which can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke can in turn lead to organ damage and death.
Why is it getting so hot?
Apart from global warming (which you should know about by now), part of the reason can be attributed to our environment itself. This is known as the urban heat island effect, where we actually experience higher temperatures in built-up, urban environments. This additional heat comes from heat generated from human activities and trapped by urban surfaces such as buildings and roads.
What to do? Turn on the aircon
Actually, that’s a bad idea. Our beloved AC is actually one of the worst perpetrators, releasing huge amounts of heat into the air to ironically keep us cold and comfortable. According to Dr Gerhard Schmitt, director at the Singapore-ATH Centre, “If you would visualise the hot air that is coming out of all these air conditioners, it would be like a lighter with a little flame coming out.”
So increase your airconditioning temperature up by one degree, or even better, just use the fan. And do whatever you can to help prevent global warming.
The long-term results are greater than any short-term discomfort, and if you want your home to be liveable 10 years from now, we should all try our best.