Precipitation does not cause flooding in Singapore

Singaporean Ng Kok Lim wrote an open letter to parliament, arguments opposing the official view that the flood caused by the increase in rainfall.

Dear Dr. Balakrishnan.

I would like to comment on your answers in Parliament on January 9 this year, about flash floods at Orchard Road:

You explained that the three most recent floods in Orchard Road (Google map) is part of a large-scale and long-term changes in precipitation in Singapore. Will schedule hourly average maximum precipitation in Singapore for the last 30 years, you work with an expert group concluded that Singapore is experiencing a steady increase in the number of precipitation.

If the intensity of rainfall is really to blame for the recent floods, should not have happened if more severe flooding in 1995, when the hour has dropped 145 mm rainfall, more than 130 mm per hour in 2010? Similarly, the average hourly rate of precipitation in 2007 was 135 mm, which is so much more than in 2010. And in 2007, no serious flooding in Orchard Road was not.

Despite the fact that your plot of precipitation is rather steep, but in reality the numbers shows that over the 11 years (1987 to 1998) rainfall risen by only 10 mm, which is less than 1 mm. You claim that one extra millimeter rainfall between 2009 and 2010 led to the catastrophic floods of 2010? It is not enough to build a trend line to the conclusion that we are confronted with an increase in the intensity of rainfall. What is the statistical value of this line? Marked by a correlation between the strength of rainfall a year?

You asked parliament to agree that in the future we expect similar storms with the same effects as in the recent three episodes. But if we had a history of other such situations? Your position would be stronger if you were able to show that the last three episodes were unique to the district of Orchard Road for the last 30 years.

Your conclusions are based on the fact that the weather has changed. There is nothing better than to blame the weather. In fact, while the weather in Singapore can change suddenly during the day, the general trend from year to year does not change. Weather in 2009 was the same as in 2010, but in 2010 we had flooding, and in 2009, they were not there at all. I believe that the reason for such a sudden change can only be human activity.

Thank you. Ng Kok Lim

Translation: Vitaly Semkin


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