Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty Profiles

National University of Singapore
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Office: AS2/04-07
Email: geomr@nus.edu.sg
Tel: +65 6516.6103
Fax: +65 6777.3091
Homepage: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/staff/home/geomr/
| Brief Introduction | Teaching Areas | Current Research | Publications | Other Information | Service to Profession | Invited Presentations (Recent) | Media and Consulting | Selected Service to University

Brief Introduction Top


  • 1991 PhD University of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography (Atmospheric Science Programme), Vancouver, Canada
  • 1988 MSc University of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography, Vancouver, Canada
  • 1985 Dipl Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Dept. of Geography, Zrich, Switzerland

Academic Awards and Distinctions

  • 2011 Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Research Fellowship
  • 2003, 2007 JSPS Visiting Scientist, Japan
  • 1995-98 Fellowship for Senior Researchers (Swiss National Science Foundation)
  • 1992 Graduate Student Prize (Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society)

Visiting Appointments

  • 2007 Visiting Scholar, School of Geographical Sciences, Arizona State University, USA
  • 2007 Faculty Research Associate, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Arizona State University, USA
  • 2006/07 Visiting Professor, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland Boundary-layer meteorology Microclimatology Urban Climatology Atmospheric Turbulence Cities and Climate Change

Research Interests

  • Boundary-layer meteorology
  • Microclimatology
  • Urban Climatology
  • Atmospheric Turbulence
  • Cities and Climate Change
Curriculum Vitae

CV MR 2012.pdf |

Teaching Areas Top

Courses Taught (since 1999)

  • Level 1000: Place, Environment and Society
  • Level 2000: Atmospheric Environments
  • Level 3000: Urban Climates; Ecological Systems
  • Level 4000: Environmental Modelling
  • Level 5000: Research Methods in Environmental Sciences

Current Research Top

My research seeks to understand how land-use changes affect local climates with a particular focus on cities and the role they play in climate change and the application of such knowledge to climate sensitive urban design. As an experimental researcher I have been involved in observations of the urban heat island (UHI), energy balance, carbon dioxide fluxes and fundamental turbulence properties in many cities on three continents.

Findings fom this research are important to improve our understanding of the physical transfer processes in the urban environment. Applications include the prediction of the exchanges of energy and moisture at the surface, dispersion of pollutants, cycling of atmospheric trace species that play a key role in climate change or human thermal comfort and climate sensitive urban design.

I am currently involved in the following research programmes which are primarily based on field observations:

  • Turbulent transfer, energy and mass exchange in a tropical city (Singapore; in collaboration with CENSAM: E Velasco) 
  • Carbon dioxide exchange over cities (in collaboration with CENSAM: E Velasco)
  • Temporal and spatial dynamics of the urban heat island (Singapore)
  • Small-scale variability of temperature in a public housing district (Singapore; in collaboration with CENSAM: L Norford and R Britter)
  • Small scale spatial variability of energy dissipation over an array of cube roughness (Tokyo; with M. Kanda, H. Sugawara and A. Inagaki) 

Publications Top


  • Salmond J, Roth M, Oke, TR, Christen, A, Voogt JA, 2012: Can surface cover tiles be summed to give neighborhood fluxes in cities? J Appl Meteor Climatol, 51, 133-149
  • Quah, KLA and Roth M, 2012: Diurnal and weekly variation of anthropogenic heat emissions in a tropical city, Singapore. Atmos Environ, 46, 92-103
  • Velasco EVS and Roth M, 2010: Cites as net sources of CO2: Review of atmospheric CO2 exchange in urban environments measured by eddy covariance technique. Geography Compass 4/9, 12381259
  • Grimmond CSB, Roth M et al. 2010: Climate and more sustainable cities: Climate information for improved planning and management of cities. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 1, 247-274
  • Roth, M., 2007: Review of urban climate research in (sub)tropical regions, International Journal of Climatology, 27, 1859-1873 (DOI: 10.1002/joc.1591).
  • Roth, M., Salmond, J. and Satyanarayana, ANV., 2006: Methodological considerations regarding the measurement of turbulent fluxes in the urban roughness sub-layer: The role of scintillometery, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 121, 351-375 (DOI 10.1007/s10546-006-9074-4).
  • Chow, W. and Roth, M., 2006: Temporal dynamics of the urban heat island of Singapore, International Journal of Climatology, 26, 2243-2260 (DOI 10.1002/joc.1364).
  • Vogt, R., Christen, A., Rotach, M. W., Roth, M. and Satyanarayana, ANV., 2006: Temporal dynamics of CO2 fluxes and profiles over a Central European city, Theor. Appl. Climatol., 84, 117-126 (DOI 10.1007/s00704-005-0149-9).
  • Kanda, M., Moriwaki, R., Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 2002: Area-averaged sensible heat flux and a new method to determine zero-plane displacement length over an urban surface using scintillometry, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 105, 177-193.
  • Roth, M., 2000: Review of atmospheric turbulence over cities, Quarterly Journal Royal Meteorological Society, 126, 941-990.
  • Grimmond, C. S. B., King, T. S., Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 1998: Anemometrically determined roughness and displacement lengths in urban areas, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 89, 1-24.
  • Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 1995: Relative efficiencies of turbulent transfer of heat, mass and momentum over a patchy urban surface, Journal of Atmospheric Science, 52, 1863-1874.
  • Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 1993: Turbulent transfer relationships over an urban surface. I: Spectral characteristics, Quarterly Journal Royal Meteorological Society, 119, 1071-1104.
  • Roth, M., 1993: Turbulent transfer relationships over an urban surface. II: Integral statistics, Quarterly Journal Royal Meteorological Society, 119, 1105-1120.
  • Roth, M., Oke, T. R. and Emery, W. J., 1989: Satellite-derived urban heat islands from three coastal cities and the utilization of such data in urban climatology, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 10, 1699-1720.

Other Information Top

Contact information:
Dr Matthias ROTH
Department of Geography
National University of Singapore
1 Arts Link, Kent Ridge
Singapore 117570
65-6516 6103 (Tel)
65-6777 3091 (Fax)
geomr@nus.edu.sg (E)
http://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/geomr/front/front.htm (W)

Geography Weather Portal click here

To find space and work against gravity click here IYC

Service to Profession Top

  • 2008- Chair, Scientific Committee, 7th International Conference on Urban Climate
  • 2007- President, International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC)
  • 2003-06 Secretary, International Association for Urban Climate
  • 2003- Scientific Advisor, International Carbon Bank & Exchange, Gainesville, Florida
  • 2002, 06, 11 Member, Scientific Committee, 5th, 6th and 8th International Conference on Urban Climate
  • 2000- Board member, International Association for Urban Climate

Invited Presentations (Recent) Top

  • - Workshop on Carbon Dioxide in the Urban Atmosphere, University of Auckland, New Zealand, Dec 2011 (Keynote speaker)
  • -Urban Climatology for Tropical and Sub-Tropical Regions (Chinese University of Hong kong), Hong Kong, Dec 2011 (Presenter)
  • - First Internatinal Conference on Sustainable Urbanization, Hong Kong, Dec 2010
  • - International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technology Services & Climate Change, Chennai, India, Oct 2010 (Kyenote speaker)
  • WMO Inter-Regional CLIPS Training Workshop on Urban Climatology, Pune, India, Sep 2010 
  • - ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum 2009, Bangkok, Thailand, 21-22 Oct 2009 (Role Players 2009)
  • - World Climate Conference 3, Geneva, Switzerland, 31 Aug 4 Sep 2009 (Chair, working session on Climate and More Sustainable Cities)
  • - ICUC-7, Yokohama, Japan, 29 June - 3 July 2009 (Presidential address)
  • - SRSIS Sentosa Roundtable on Asian Security, Singapore, 19-20 March 2009 (Panel member)
  • - Southeast Asian Geography Association (SEAGA), Singapore, 14 February 2009 (Plenary talk)
  • - NATO Adv Res Workshop on Atmos Bound Layers, Dubrovnic, Croatia, 18-22 April 2006
  • - ICUC-6, Gteborg, Sweden, 12-16 June 2006 (Plenary talk)

Media and Consulting Top

  • Frequent commentator on climate change, local weather, haze, air pollution and tropical storms in the local media (Channel NewsAsia, Channel 8, Newsradio 93.8, The Straits Times, The Business Times, The New Paper, Today Newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao, etc).
  • Presentation in schools and organized by government agencies on a range of environmental issues.
  • Consulting activities for Singapore Environment Institute (SEI), Public Utilities Board (PUB), Ministry of Education (MOE), law cases and as an expert witness in court.

Selected Service to University Top

  • 2012-     Acting Head, Department of Geography
  • 2010-11 Deputy Head, Department of Geography
  • 2010-11 Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) Program Committee (deputy director)
  • 2008-10 Faculty Review Committee (member)

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