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Carbon Assessment Using Geospatial Tech in Singapore’s Forests

Image credits: news.nus.edu.sg

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Science have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work on geospatial data and technology for carbon estimation studies in Singapore.

“SLA and NUS share the same vision in being part of the solution in tackling climate change challenges. We have been working together to leverage each other’s expertise to support sustainable development efforts in Singapore,” says Colin Low, who is the CEO of SLA.

He noted that geospatial data and technologies offer numerous opportunities for gaining a deeper understanding of environmental changes. As a “living lab,” this partnership will support Singapore’s goals under the Singapore Green Plan to become a carbon services hub in Asia to promote carbon trading. It will also pave the path for increased use of SLA’s 3D mapping expertise in NUS’s research operations, merging geospatial technology and climate science.

Colin and Professor Sun Yining, Dean of NUS Science, signed the MoU at the 4th Singapore Geospatial Festival 2022. Under the MoU, SLA will give the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions (CNCS), a research centre under NUS Science, the geospatial data it needs to estimate carbon emissions. This will be done by using technologies like airborne laser scanning and imagery.

The collaboration will lead to better ways to measure carbon in Singapore’s nature reserves and other ecosystems, which will increase productivity and save money. The goal of the carbon estimation research is to figure out how much carbon is stored in Singapore’s forests, mangroves, parks, and gardens, as well as in primary and secondary forests.

To get data for current research on estimating carbon, researchers must go out into the field, which is hard work. It also uses a lot of satellite images, which don’t have very good image quality and could affect how accurate the research results are.

Through this partnership, SLA will share geospatial data from airborne laser scanning (also called “Light Detection and Ranging,” or “LiDAR”) as well as high-resolution aerial images with NUS CNCS to help their researchers figure out how much carbon is in the air. The study findings will aid in the design and implementation of conservation and restoration operations across Singapore’s ecosystems.

The collaboration is anticipated to contribute to and strengthen Singapore’s national carbon estimation efforts to provide data and insights to facilitate robust policies based on evidence. The NUS researchers are looking forward to collaborating with SLA to improve carbon assessment throughout Singapore’s diverse ecosystems by employing cutting-edge technologies to support climate change action.

Meanwhile, Scientists at NUS have found a new way to grow meat from animal cells: they zap the cells with a magnet. This new method makes it easier to make cell-based meat because it doesn’t use as many animal products. It is also greener, cleaner, safer, and cheaper.

Cultured meat is an alternative to raising animals. It has benefits like a smaller carbon footprint and less chance of animals getting sick. Cultured meat is made now involves using other animal products, which kind of defeats the purpose, or drugs to make the meat grow faster.

Scientists came up with the NUS technique, which uses a carefully tuned pulsed magnetic field to grow myogenic stem cells. These cells are found in skeletal muscle and bone marrow tissue. When cells are exposed to magnetic fields for just 10 minutes, they release many molecules that have healing, metabolic, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.


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