Fighting haze: More resources for early warning system

Fighting haze: More resources for early warning system

SINGAPORE - More resources are being poured into enhancing Singapore's haze early warning system, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Parliament on Monday.

To improve its early detection and warning capabilities, the Meteorological Services Singapore (MSS) of the National Environment Agency (NEA) would be using more meteorological data, more computer modelling of images and finer resolution of satellite images.

It will also install more wind sensors.

For a start, it hopes to get feeds from new satellites which have greater resolution as early as next year, said Dr Balakrishnan.

"We need resolution down to about one- to two-kilometre range, to be able to identify a hot spot. The new satellites will also have greater spectral sensitivity, which means you can also see fires at an early stage, maybe even at the underground level," he said.

More wind sensors beyond Singapore's shores would also be needed to provide a more accurate prediction of weather patterns, "whether there will be rain or drought", he added.

Better information such as the speed and direction of the winds would be able to determine how quickly the haze would reach Singapore.

Dr Balakrishnan gave this answer in response to the flurry of queries from MPs on how Singapore could do better in coping with the haze.

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