Archive for the ‘climate’ Category

It’s raining again

Apropos of the last post: Today, with fairly mild and persistent rain since last night, there are nice big patches of water where one doesn’t normally see them, like Upper Serangoon Road (fed by a puddle in the former cemetery), Bendemeer Road (nice muddy stuff coming off the construction site @ City View @ Boon Keng), and Sam Leong Road.

No pix, sorry, but here’s one from last July.

Say, aren’t BMWs supposed to have perfect 50/50 weight distribution? Oh well…

I hope Delft Hydraulics wrote themselves a nice get-out-of-future-disputes letter when the fingers start getting pointed in earnest. These are not the letters you are looking for.

Categories: climate, flood

Venice of the East

( alt title: A series of unfortunate experiments, item 6224* )

So the Minister for the Environment has determined that the flood incident at Orchard Rd was “caused by an intense storm”. Let’s dive below the surface (groan) of this statement and see where a bit of arithmetic might lead us to. This could be a PSLE maths question some day.

Boon or bane? We report, you decide.
(photo credit: Green Future / Flickr)

The PUB’s webpage on Marina Barrage ( is most informative. From there, we learn that the barrage has a catchment area of 10,000 hectares, and that during high tide, “giant pumps which are capable of pumping an Olympics-size swimming pool per minute will drain excess storm water into the sea”.

The Minister also acknowledged in Parliament (9 Feb 2009) that any litter thrown into canals in areas as far upstream as Ang Mo Kio will end up in the Marina Reservoir.

Let’s do some sums to see how this works out when it rains. Read more…


So Levitt and Dubner have released their Freakonomics follow-up. In the popular style to which they have become accustomed, they “create” controversial ideas but then unlike actual scientists (or even journalists), fail to correct themselves when the error of their ways is pointed out. How erroneous? Let me count the ways:

Ken Caldeira, the climate scientist they interviewed for the book

RealClimate, the blog by actual climate scientists from NASA and other places

Paul Krugman, last year’s Nobel economics prize winner

and about 43,700 others.

I reckon they need to do the decent thing and edit all the unsold copies plus put up a prominent health warning on their website saying that the first edition is wrong. To paraphrase Depeche Mode, “I was suckered by the wrong side / with the wrong lies / talking up the wrong uncertainties”. Anything less would be intellectually dishonest… and we can’t have that from upright members of academia and the fourth estate, can we.

How ’bout it, Steves???

Categories: climate Tags: , , ,