Was the 2015 haze event in Singapore predictable?
About the Event:
The transboundary haze over Singapore and the Malay Peninsula during September-October 2015 degraded air quality in the region to the worst level. The haze emissions from forest and peatland fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan were transported to the surrounding regions by the low-level wind. During that period, the commonly-used measure of air quality in Singapore, the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI), varied on intra-seasonal time scales. Low-level wind of tropical weather on intra-seasonal time scales is known to be governed by the equatorial waves.
In our study we have found that the haze variability over the Malay Peninsula can be explained by equatorial waves advection at 850 mb, which was transporting the haze (represented by Carbon Monoxide) from the source region. The dominant modes of that equatorial waves advection were the Madden-Julian Oscillation and the Equatorial-Rossby waves. We have also discovered that equatorial waves activity in two remote locations can satisfactorily predict PSI level ~11-15 days ahead in time.
About the Speaker:
Yudha Setiawan Djamil received his BSc in Meteorology from the School of Geophysics and Meteorology, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Indonesia. Recently, he defended his PhD thesis focusing on paleoclimate modelling under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Wang Xianfeng at the Asian School of the Environment (ASE), NTU, Singapore. His research interest is mainly in the climate and weather over the Maritime Continent at various spatio-temporal scales. In 2016, he received Dr. Stephen Riady Geoscience Scholars Fund to conduct research on the 2015 haze event in Singapore in relationship to the large-scale atmospheric phenomena.