NUS offers meteorology, climate science minor to build up local expertise

SINGAPORE – A new minor in meteorology and climate science will be offered at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to pave the way for more weather and climate scientists here.

The course – which is the first of its kind here – will give an introduction to the complex field of weather and climate, said NUS and the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS).

Additional postgraduate training is needed for those who want to become meteorologists and climate scientists.

The course will be useful for students who are looking to become sustainability consultants, renewable energy experts and coastal protection engineers, for instance.

Fresh graduates in these professions will need basic understanding of weather systems and climate science, so that they can link the facts and science to develop successful climate mitigation and adaptation measures, said NUS and MSS.

The minor – under the science faculty’s department of physics – will be open to all students in the NUS College of Humanities and Sciences.

As the course is being developed, its start date has not yet been determined.

Singapore currently relies heavily on experts from abroad to fill the growing number of climate science vacancies here, this minor will help groom local talent in this field, said NUS on its website.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, a meteorologist should have a degree in meteorology or completed postgraduate studies in meteorology after completing a degree course that includes foundational topics in mathematics and physics.

Many of MSS’ meteorologists have degrees in the physical sciences, mathematics or engineering, with postgraduate training in meteorology conducted by MSS’ partners such as Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

Specialisation in climate research would also be done at a postgraduate level, said NUS and MSS, which is under the National Environment Agency.

To help undergraduates gain exposure to the work of meteorologists and climate scientists, MSS’ Centre for Climate Research Singapore is offering internships.

The centre also co-supervises postgraduates and projects to help students understand the tropical weather systems and processes affecting Singapore.