Climate change and spread of insect-borne diseases

Nepal reported its first case of dengue fever 14 years ago. Now, dengue patients can be found even in the Kathmandu Valley, nearly 1,400m above sea level. The disease has spread as a result of climate change, which has created warmer, more hospitable environments for the Aedes mosquito to breed and bite. There is also fear of the spread of Zika disease via mosquitoes.

Click on the link below for interactive on how climate change increase dengue cases in Singapore.

Where are the areas affected by the spread of insect-borne diseases due to climate change?
Why does climate change affect the spread of insect-borne diseases?
What are the major causes of climate change?
How can climate change be mitigated?

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Deadly tsunamis from Anak Krakatoa volcanic eruption

Watch the video below and find out more about the Ring of Fire and how it had created the many disasters in 2018. From the volcanic eruptions of Mt Mayon and Kilauea to the tsunami which hit Sulawesi killing thousands and the most recent volcanic eruption of Anak Krakatoa leading to a tsunamis which had killed more than 400.

Read the following article on why many lives would have been saved if the tsunamis early warning system was working.

Reflect on the following:
Where is the Ring of Fire?
Why are there more seismic activities (volcanic eruptions and earthquakes) at the Ring of Fire?
When did Anak Krakatoa erupt?
What type of volcano is Anak Krakatoa?
What are the impacts of volcanic eruption?
Who are affected by volcanic eruptions?
How can the impacts of earthquake and volcanic eruptions be mitigated?

Read more about the hazards associated with volcanic eruptions and why travel advisories are issued m affected areas in the news article below:

Mount Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait has shrunk to almost a third its original height, from 338 meters to 110 m. The scale of the collapse of anak Krakatoa can be seen from the satellite images below. The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) estimated that the volcano reduced to between 40 million and 70 million cubic meters in size from a mass of about 150 million to 180 million m3, following eruptions that occurred between Dec. 24 and 27.
The Japanese Alos-2 radar satellite was used to monitor Anak Krakatau

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Rice production in Thailand

Read the article below and reflect on the following questions.

Where are the areas suitable for rice growing?
What are the factors mentioned in the article affecting the production of rice?
Why is the role of government important in intensification of food production?
How does technology help in intensification of food production?

Watch the video on

How does stockpiling help Singapore in food security?

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Coral bleaching

How has climate change affected coral reefs?

The Straits Times has released a six-part multimedia package on climate change.

What caused global warming?
How does global warming lead to coral bleaching?
Where are the areas affected by coral bleaching?
Why are coral reefs important?
Who are affected by coral bleaching?


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Earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia

A 7.5 Earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi followed by a tsunami on 28 Sept 2018.

What are the factors which led to the city of Palu experiencing the greatest damage and loss of lives?
Where are the areas affected?
Why do Indonesia experience frequent earthquakes?
What have been done to mitigate the impacts of earthquake?
Who are the ones affected by the earthquake?
How does the people respond to the earthquake to mitigate the impacts of earthquake?
How was the tsunamis formed? (this tsunamis which hit Palu was unique as it was not an offshore earthquake)

Strong aftershocks have continued to hit Sulawesi, where the major quake and tsunami killed at least 408 people and injured 500.

Dozens remain missing, some thought to be trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings in the city of Palu.

What are the short term responses carried out to save more lives now?

Update - death toll rose more than 1300 as @ 3 Oct 2018. Read on how short-term responses were carried out.

Mount Soputan erupted on 3 Oct - adding on to the woes of the people who have yet to recover from the impact of the earthquake and tsunami which struck on 28 Sept.

Another useful update on what caused the tsunami which affected Palu.
Unlike most tsunamis, the displacement of water is mainly due to the underwater landslides triggered by the earthquake from "strike-slip" fault (transform fault), where tectonic plates move sideways. The force was intensified as the waves moved landwards through a narrow bay into Palu.

Read more at 

Look at the impacts of the earthquake and tsunamis as well as the short-term responses in the video below

Limitations of short-term responses 
1. local government did not allow foreign aid and there is a delay in rendering help to search and rescue for trapped victims.
2. looting occurred  which hampered the distribution of food, water and medical supply in the affected areas.

Look at the video below to see the impact of soil liquefaction in aggravating the extent of damage by the earthquake.

More than 82,000 people were displaced in the worst-hit city of Palu, 1,500km northeast of the capital, Jakarta, and 67,000 homes destroyed or damaged. 

According to Wikipedia, the earthquake resulted in 2,256 dead, 1,075 missing and 70,821 evacuated.

Another shallow 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Java and Bali islands on 11 Oct 2018, killing 3 people. The victims were crushed by collapsed buildings in East Java's Sumenep district as the earthquake happened early Thursday when they were sleeping and the quake suddenly rocked so they didn't have time to evacuate.


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Singapore population growth slow down

Lowest Birth Rate in 2017 since 2014.
How would this affect economic growth?
Why is there a concern for low birth rate?
What has been done to increase the birth rate?

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The power of Hurricane Florence via technology

Look at how Hurricane Florence will impact on coastal areas.

When will Hurricane Florence hit the coast?
Who will be affected?
Where will the storm surge affect?
What are the impacts of a storm surge?
Why does hurricane results in storm surge?
How can the impacts be mitigated?

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Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Forecast path of Super Typhoon Mangkhut as it approaches Hong Kong. 

(Graphic: AFP/Gal Roma)

How are typhoons formed?
Where are the areas affected by Typhoon Mangkhut?
When were the typhoon expected to hit the Philippines and Hong Kong?
Who are affected by the typhoon?
What are the impacts of the typhoon?
Why is it important to forecast the typhoon track?


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Rice cultivation and climate change

Other than methane, rice cultivation contributes to the emission of  nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas.
Since rice is a major staple for at least half the world's seven billion people, the way it is managed has significant effects on the Earth's warming climate, said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

Currently, the amount of unaccounted-for N2O global emissions from rice may be as high as the annual climate pollution from about 200 coal power plants, according to the authors. In India alone, where the study took place across five intermittently flooded rice fields, nitrous oxide emissions "could be 30-45 times higher than reported under continuous flooding," researchers estimated.

Rice cultivation affects climate change and climate change affects rice cultivation. 

Look at how climate change affects production of rice.

Can Green Revolution in creating super rice helped food security threatened by climate change?

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Surviving the 2018 Lombok earthquake

Read about how a Geography teacher survived an earthquake.

Where did Mdm Lim experience the earthquake?
When did the earthquake struck?
Who was affected?
What was the damage caused by the earthquake?
Why did she mentioned earthquake monitoring and preparedness are important?
How did she kept herself safe from the earthquake?

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Earthquake in Lombok 5 Aug

A magnitude 6.9 struck the holiday island of Lombok on 5 Aug 2018. More than 2,000 tourists were evacuated and at least 98 people were killed and thousands of buildings were damaged.

When did the earthquake occur?
Why does Indonesia experience earthquakes frequently?
What are the impacts of the earthquake? Economic, Social and Environmental
What are aftershocks?
How can aftershocks be damaging?
What are the short term responses shown in the video which help to save lives?
Who are affected?
Why does natural disaster such as earthquakes hinder the growth of tourism?

Look at the map below which shows the intensity of the magnitude 6.9 earthquake which struck Lombok, Indonesia on 5 Aug 2018.
Can you see how intensity of earthquake decreases away from the epicentre?
How would the distance from the epicentre affects the extent of damage from earthquake?

Updated on 9 Aug
The death toll rose to 164 people with at least 1,400 people seriously injured and 156,000 displaced.

Note the impact of the earthquake as well as the short term responses

Authorities urgently appealed for medicine, food and clean water for some 156,000 people displaced by the disaster Read more at

A magnitude 6.2 aftershock rocked Indonesia's Lombok on Thursday (Aug 9), sparking fresh panic on the tropical tourist island as the official death toll from a powerful earthquake four days earlier almost doubled to 259.

Updated 11 August 2018

  The earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has killed 387 people, authorities said Saturday, adding hundreds of thousands of displaced people were still short of clean water, food and medicine nearly a week on.

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Dam failure causing flooding in Laos

A dam collapsed in Laos causing widespread flooding and hundreds are missing

When did the flooding occur?
Where are the areas affected?
What was the cause of the flood?
Who are affected?
Why is there a need to build a dam?
How could this have been mitigated?

Updated 27 July:

Laos dam collapse

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Sustainable development and climate change mitigation

How can we maintain a sustainable development with minimal impact on climate change?

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More weather woes in Japan and Vietnam

Heat wave in Japan in July 2018

The temperature in a city north of Tokyo reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (°C) on July 23,  the highest ever recorded in Japan.

The heatwave had killed at least 15 people and forced the hospitalisation of over 12,000 others in the first two weeks of July.

What is a heat wave?
When does heat wave affect Japan? Why?
Who are affected by the heat wave?

Where are the areas affected?
What are the impacts of the heat wave?
How can the impacts be reduced? (mitigation measures)

Flash flood in Vietnam

What is a monsoon?
Why does the monsoon bring heavy rain?

Where are the areas affected?
What are the impacts of the heavy rain?
When does Monson wind affect these countries?
How can the damage and loss of lives be minimised? (mitigation measures)

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Typhoon struck Taiwan and Okinawa, Japan

Typhoon Maria brought torrential rain and powerful winds to Taiwan 11 July.
Downpours of up to 100 mm  hit some areas overnight and strong winds were still expected as the storm moved northwest.
People were told to avoid the coast where waves as high as nine metres were recorded.
Trees felled overnight and blocking some roads in the mountains north of capital Taipei.
Close to 3,500 people were evacuated across the island from areas prone to floods and landslides, with more than 2,000 soldiers mobilised.
About 43,000 households lost power at the typhoon's peak.
The storm also affected hundreds of flights.


Where are the areas affected by Typhoon Maria?
Why do these areas frequently experience Typhoon?
What are the impacts of the Typhoon?
Who are the ones affected by the typhoon?
When does typhoon normally develop?
How are the people prepared for typhoon to minimise the damage and loss of lives?

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Weather woes in Thailand and Japan

Most of you would have read about the boys and coach trapped in a cave due to heavy rain and flood for two weeks.

The heavy rain brought by the monsoon has also lead to another disaster. The Phoenix, a boat which ferry tourists to the islands in Phuket for snorkelling,  had 105 people on board  and went down in bad weather on Thursday 5 July evening.

Death toll went up to 44 last reported on 14 July.

In Japan, heavy rain has lead to landslides and flooding resulting in loss of lives, displacement of the people from their homes.


What is a monsoon?
Why does the monsoon bring heavy rain?

Where are the areas affected?
What are the impacts of the heavy rain?
When does Monson wind affect these countries?
How can the damage and loss of lives be minimised? (mitigation measures)

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Earthquake struck Osaka

Japan's coastal city of Osaka has been hit by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake on 18 June 2018 during Monday morning's rush hour, killing three people and injuring more than 200. Despite a relatively low magnitude, its shallow depth of 13km (focus) caused violent tremors. Officials warned of possible strong aftershocks.

Where is the epicentre of the earthquake?
Who are affected by the earthquake?
When did the earthquake occur?
Why is Japan prone to earthquake?
What cause earthquakes?
Why does earthquake of higher magnitude cause more damage?
How does the depth of the focus and time of occurence affect the extent of damage?
What are aftershocks and why would it cause more damages?

Read the following articles on how Singaporeans in Osaka are affected by the earthquake.
How does natural disasters such as earthquakes hinder the growth of tourism in an area?

Footage of the Osaka earthquake:

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Tourism contributing to greenhouse gases

Watch the following video on how tourism contribute to carbon emission

Read the article and reflect on the following:

Where are the areas with high carbon emission from domestic tourism?

Who are the ones responsible for the increase in carbon emission?

Why are we concerned with the increase of carbon emission by tourism?

When was the Paris agreement signed?

What are the impacts of the increase in carbon emission?

How can we reduce carbon emission?

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Kilauea eruption

Major earthquakes were reported on 4 May 2018 near Kilauea volcano, which has been spewing lava since an eruption earlier this week. Over 1,500 residents have been evacuated. 

Where is Kilauea volcano?
When did it erupt?
Who are affected by the eruption?
What type of volcano is Kilauea?
What are the risks from the eruption?
Why do people continue to live in areas threatened by volcano?
How are the mitigation measures carried out?

The science behind Hawaii's Kilauea volcano and 2,200-degree lava

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Eruption of Mount Io in Japan

Watch the video on the eruption of a volcano in southern Japan. It has erupted for the first time in 250 years on 19 April 2018.

Where is Mount Io located?
When did it erupt?
Who are affected by the eruption?
Why did the government issue a no-go warning to the area near Mount Io?
What is Ring of Fire?

Watch the video on the risks associated with volcanic eruption

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Tourism in Boracay Philippines

Read this article on how environmental degradation brought by tourism has led to the Philippines president to restrict entry by outsiders to Boracay for half a year.

Where is Boracay?
Who will be affected by the restriction of tourists to the island?
Why was there a need for the restriction of tourists on the island?
What are the impacts of the restriction of tourists on the locals living in Boracay?
When will the restriction of tourists enforced?
How could the development of tourism be made sustainable in Boracay?

Why is there a need for sustainable tourism?

Impacts of tourism

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Ecotourism for sustainable tourism

Sumbiling Eco Village (SEV) is amid one of the best preserved tracts of primary rainforest in all of Borneo. Is Ecotourism a solution for sustainable tourism?


When was SEV developed?
Where is SEV located?
Who is the person who have helped to develop SEV?
What is ecotourism?
Why is there a need for sustainable tourism?
How does the development of Ecotourism benefit the local people?

Read the article below on how preservation is a challenge to the popular Angkor Wat tourist attraction in Cambodia.

Another article on how Ecotourism can promote sustainable tourism.

Richard Gunting, a leader of one of Borneo’s indigenous tribes, aims to create eco-tourism in Sabah, an area full of rich biodiversity and pristine forests.
- Even today, this is one of the poorest districts in Sabah where locals have seen living standards stutter and their land relinquished to oil & timber plantations, which have stimulated local economies
but hurt biodiversity.
- Eco-tourism is used to open the door to the indigenous community by involving the community from the very beginning.
- The project is called Orou Sapulot and is based around a comfortable and traditional wooden longhouse for guests and a community farm. Agar wood is grown alongside cocoa plants and fruit trees of papaya, guava, soursop, mango, pineapple and pomelo. Newly formed ponds home tilapia and valuable palian fish to eat, sell and distribute.
- Not only can this help to feed visitors, but also educate them and locals about the potential of sustainable agriculture.
- The guides are mostly trained local Murut men and women, being encouraged to embrace their culture and language. These alternative livelihoods are helping the community retain its youth,
who might be otherwise be drawn away to live a more contemporary life.

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