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The 2010s set a record as the hottest decade in Singapore since temperature records began in 1929, with average temperatures last year nearly a full degree Celsius higher than the average for the three decades before it.
Temperatures in the city-state just north of the Equator have been above average for the last 23 consecutive months, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Meteorological Service Singapore.
It’s expected to get worse. Under a “business as usual” scenario, Singapore’s average surface temperatures are projected to rise between 2.9 and 4.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Even assuming aggressive actions to control global emissions, Singapore should still prepare for at least 1.4 degree rise, according to the MSS’ most recent national climate change study.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the city-state may need S$100 billion ($74 billion) or more to protect against rising sea levels over the next century, and that climate change defense, like the country’s military, is “existential” for Singapore.
Another challenge is that of transboundary haze, as smoke from intentionally-set fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra blanketed the island for several weeks. September also saw the first-ever known landspout, a type of tornado, touch down in Singapore. The winds damaged the roof of a factory near Tuas at the far west of the island.
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