YEAR ONE INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH STUDIES
Research Topic: Environment
Chosen Area of Focus: The effects of sulfur dioxide on the physical and human environment of Singapore
Framing our research topic
Our chosen area of focus is “The effects of sulfur dioxide on the physical and human environment in Singapore”. We have chosen this topic as sulfur dioxide is released into the atmosphere everyday from cars, airplanes and ships, just to name a few. The usage of cars in Singapore is a lot which produces a lot of sulfur dioxide. Singapore also has bustling ports and a major airport, therefore the amount of ships and planes contribute to the amount of sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere. (NEA, 2011) They are also found in certain types of food and beverages.
Possible reasons for problems related to air pollution are taking individual cars everyday instead of taking the public transport and using unnecessary electricity, which in turn create more pollutants in the air. “A majority of the respondents to the SGP 2012 online survey feels that Singapore should educate the public on how they can play a part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions to address the issue of climate change.” (The Singapore Green Plan, 2012)
Other reasons maybe that some people over-rely on their cars. Their destination may be accessible just by walking a short distance but they choose to drive their car instead.
Reasons for choice of topic
- We have chosen this topic, as we want to know whether this gas(sulfur dioxide) is harmful or a good gas that is beneficial for the humans. This allows us to fulfil the requirements of the project task as the project task looks at the effect from sulfur dioxide towards humans.
- This topic benefits society as people will know why they get air related diseases in Singapore, how to help reduce the number of occurrences of it and how to prevent it from happening to themselves and others around them.
Feasibility of the research
- There is a need for our research, as there are many people who are sensitive to sulfur dioxide and get diseases or illnesses like asthma, chronic lung and heart disease.
- This gas also damages trees and crops and is the main precursors of acid rain, along with nitrogen oxides. This contributes to acidification of lakes and streams, accelerated corrosion of buildings and reduced vision. It also causes formation of microscopic and aerosols, which have serious health implications as well as contributing to climate change. (Ministry of the Environment, Ontario, 2010)
- Manageability of the research
- The timeline for the different components of the project will be decided later based on the situation then. Overall, the project will be done as quickly and carefully as we can, trying not to go out of point.
- This research provides opportunities for group work and gaining experience as we will need to discuss a lot of matters regarding the project, for example who will be assigned to do what job in the project.
- We predict some difficulties while doing this project, such as poor communication among the group members and insufficient data. We intend to cope with these difficulties by getting the group to upload their findings and their part of the project into a google document.
- Accessibility of the information required
- Information that we will need for our research would be the amount of sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere either each month or year.
- We will be obtaining this information from primary and secondary sources, depending on which one gives more reliable and useful information.
- Some alternatives that we have thought of would be to ask others for information or where can we find the information that we need.
- Some problems we anticipate while gathering the materials would be that the information that we can find is not entirely relevant to our project and that it is already the closest piece of information that we can find.
National Environment Agency (NEA), (2011). Air Pollution. Retrieved on 15 August 2012. From : http://app2.nea.gov.sg/topics_air.aspx
Ministry of the Environment, Ontario, (2010). Sulfur Dioxide. Retrieved on 22 August 2012. From : http://www.airqualityontario.com/science/pollutants/sulphur.php
The Singapore Green Plan, (2012). Page 18 - 27. Clean Air Always. Retrieved on 20 August 2012. From : http://www.uncsd2012.org/content/documents/The%20Singapore%20Green%20Plan%202012.pdf