FASS Staff Profile


+65 6516.6103
+65 6777.3091

Brief Introduction


  • 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

  • 2013, 2017 ODPRT Grant for Research Excellence (NUS)
  • 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

  • 2014 Visiting Porofessor, Environmental Engineering, EPFL, Switzerland
  • 2013 Visiting Scholar, Monash Weather and Climate, Monash University, Australia
  • 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

Research Interests

  • Boundary-layer meteorology
  • Microclimatology
  • Urban Climatology
  • Atmospheric Turbulence
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Direct link to Telok Kuaru Flux Tower webpage

Research Statisctics

Curriculum Vitae

cv march 2020.pdf | pubs march 2020.pdf |

Teaching Areas

Courses Taught (since 1999)

  • Level 1000: Place, Environment and Society
  • Level 2000: Weather and Climate
  • Level 3000: Urban Climates; Ecological Systems
  • Level 4000: Environmental Modelling
  • Level 5000: Research Methods in Environmental Sciences
  • ETHZ-FCL MOOC: Quality of Life: Livability in Future Cities (Two modules: Urban Climate: Fundamentals and Urban Climates in the Tropics: Applications)

Current Research

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 researching the following themes:

  • Turbulent transfer, energy, mass and CO2 exchange in Singapore
  • Temporal and spatial dynamics of the urban heat island in Singapore
  • Urban climate modeling

Research Interests

  • Urban heat island
  • Urban climatology
  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Cities and climate change
  • Microclimatology
  • Boundary-layer meteorology



  • Yang Y, Zheng Z, Yim SYL, Roth M, Ren G, Gao Z, Wang T, Li Q, Shi C and Ning G, 2020. Influence of fine-particle pollution on the variation in wintertime urban-heat-island intensity in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Megalopolis, China. Geoph Res Letters, 47 (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GL084288)
  • Meili N, Manoli G, Burlando P, Bou-Zeid E, Chow W, Coutts A, Daly E, Nice K, Roth M, Tapper N, Velasco E, Vivoni E and Fatichi S, 2019. An urban ecohydrological model to quantify the effect of vegetation on urban climate and hydrology (UT&C v1.0). Geoscientific Model Development 13, 335-362 (https://www.geosci-model-dev.net/13/335/2020/gmd-13-335-2020-metrics.html). 
  • Simón-Moral A, Dipankar A, Roth M, Sánchez C, Velasco E, and Huang H, 2019. Application of MORUSES single layer urban canopy model in a tropical city: results from Singapore. Q J R Meteorol Soc, 146, 576–597 (https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/qj.3694). 
  • Middle A, Lukasczyk J, Maciejewski R, Demuzere M and Roth M, 2018. Sky View Factor footprints for urban climate modeling. Urban Climate, 25, 120-134 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212095518301883). 
  • Seow MXC and Roth M, 2018. Influence of climate oscillations on urban and rural temperature variability in the Kanto region of Japan. Climate Research, 75, 65-80 (https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01507).
  • Tan SH, Roth M and Velasco E, 2017. Particle exposure and inhaled dose during commuting in Singapore. Atmospheric Environment 170, 245-258 (https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1VyW84pTZHSDcy)
  • Liu X, Li X-X, Harshan S, Roth M and Velasco E, 2017. Evaluation of an urban canopy model in a tropical city: The role of tree evapotranspiration. Environmental Research Letters 12, 094008 (http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7ee7/meta).
  • Harshan S, Roth M, Velasco E and Demuzere M, 2017. Evaluation of an urban land surface scheme over a tropical suburban neighbourhood. Theoretical and Applied Climatology (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-017-2221-7).
  • Demuzere M, Harshan S, Järvi L, Roth M, Grimmond CSB, Masson V, Oleson KW, Velasco E, Wouters H, 2017. Impact of urban canopy models and external parameters on the modelled urban energy balance in a tropical city. Q J Roy Meteor Soc, 143, 1581-1596 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.3028/full).
  • Roth M, Jansson C, Velasco E, 2017. Multi-year energy balance and carbon dioxide fluxes over a residential neighbourhood in a tropical city. International Journal of Climatology, 37, 2679-2698 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.4873/full).
  • Roth M, Lim V, 2017. Evaluation of canopy-layer air and mean radiant temperature simulations by a microclimate model over a tropical residential neighbourhood. Building and Environment, 112, 177-189 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2016.11.026).
  • Velasco E, Roth M, Norford L, Molina LT, 2016. Does urban vegetation enhance carbon sequestration? Landscape and Urban Planning, 148, 99–107.
  • Chow WTL, Siti Nur ‘Assyakirin Binte Ali Akbara, Heng SL, Roth M, 2016. Assessment of measured and perceived microclimates within a tropical urban forest. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 16, 62–75
  • Sugwara H, Inagaki, A, Roth M, Kanda M, 2015. Evaluation of scintillometery measurements of fluxes of momentum and sensible heat in the roughness sublayer. Theor Appl Climatol, DOI 10.1007/s00704-015-1556-1.
  • Georgescu M, Chow WTL, Wang ZH, Brazel A, Trapido-LurieB, Roth M, Benson-Lira V, 2015. Prioritizing urban sustainability solutions: coordinated approaches must incorporate scale-dependent built environment induced effects. Environ Res Lett. 10, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/7/079601.
  • Bueno B, Roth M, Norford L and Li R, 2014: Computationally efficient prediction of canopy level urban air temperature at the neighbourhood scale. Urban Climate, 9, 35-53.
  • Roth M, Inagaki, A, Sugiwara H and Kanda M, 2013: Small-scale spatial variability of turbulence statistics, (co)spectra and turbulent kinetic energy measured over a regular array of cube roughness. Environ Fluid Mech. DOI 10.1007/s10652-013-9322-3.
  • Velasco EVS, Roth M, Tan SH, Quak M, Nabarro SDH and Norford L, 2013: Velasco EVS, Roth M, Tan SH, Quak M, Nabarro SDH and Norford L, 2013: The role of vegetation in the CO2 flux from a tropical urban neighbourhood. Atmos Chem Phys 13, 10185–1020
  • Li X, Koh T-Y, Entekhabi D, Roth M, Panda J and Norford L, 2013: A multi-resolution ensemble study of a tropical urban environment and its interaction with the background regional atmosphere. J Geoph Res, 118, 9804-9818.
  • Roth M and Chow WTL, 2012: A historical review and assessment of urban heat island research in Singapore. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 33, 381-397.
  • Velasco EVS and Roth M, 2012: Review of Singapore’s air quality and greenhouse gas emissions: Current situation and opportunities. J Air Waste Managm Assoc 62(6), 625641
  • Quah, KLA and Roth M, 2012: Diurnal and weekly variation of anthropogenic heat emissions in a tropical city, Singapore. Atmos Environ, 46, 92-103
  • Koh, TY, Bhatt BC, Cheung KKW, Teo CK, Lee YH and Roth M, 2012: Using the spectral scaling exponent for validation of quantitative precipitation forecasts. Meteor Atm Phys, 115, 35-45
  • 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
  • Roth, M, Emmanuel, T, Ichinose, T and Salmond, J, 2011: Editorial: ICUC-7 Urban climate special issue, Intl J Climatol, 31, 159-161
  • 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, 1238–1259
  • 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
  • Shi, C., Roth, M., Zhang, H. and Li, Z., 2008: Impacts of urbanization on long-term fog variation in Anhui Province, China, Atmospheric Environment, 42, 8484-8492 (DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.08.002).
  • Roth, M., 2007: Review of urban climate research in (sub)tropical regions, International Journal of Climatology, 27, 1859-1873 (DOI: 10.1002/joc.1591).
  • Grimmond, C.S.B., Kuttler, W., Linqvist, S. and Roth, M., 2007: Editorial: Urban Climatology ICUC6, International Journal of Climatology, 27, 1847-1848 (DOI: 10.1002/joc.1638).
  • Newton, T., Oke, T.R., Grimmond, C.S.B. and Roth, M., 2007: The suburban energy balance in Miami, Florida, Geografiska Annaler. Series A, 89A (4), 331-347 (DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0459.2007.00329.x).
  • 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).
  • Rotach, M.W., Vogt, R., Bernhofer, C., Batchvarova, E., Christen, A., Clappier, A., Feddersen, B., Gryning, S.-E., Martucci, G., Mayer, H., Mitev, V., Oke, T.R., Parlow, E., Richner, H., Roth, M., Roulet, Y.-A., Ruffieux, D., Salmond, J.A., Schatzmann, M., and Voogt, J.A., 2005: BUBBLE – an urban boundary layer meteorology project, Theor. Appl. Climatol., 81, 231-261 (DOI 10.1007/s00704-004-0117-9).
  • Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 1994: Comparison of modelled and 'measured' heat storage in suburban terrain, Contributions to Atmospheric Physics, 67, 149-156.
  • 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.
  • Kanda, M., Moriwaki, R, Suzuki, J, Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 2000: Turbulent flux measurement in an urban boundary layer by using scintillometer, Tenki, 47, 453-462 (in Japanese).
  • Kanda, M., Moriwaki, R, Suzuki, J, Roth, M. and Oke, T. R., 2000: Study on similarity functions of turbulent statistics in urban boundary layers, Tenki, 47, 493-501 (in Japanese)
  • 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 Steyn, D. G., 1989: Velocity and temperature spectra in an unstable suburban atmosphere, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 47, 309-320. [Special issue in honor of Dr. Hans A. Panofsky (1917-1988)].
  • 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.
  • Oke, T. R., Cleugh, H. A., Grimmond, C. S. B., Schmid, H. P. and Roth, M., 1989: Evaluation of spatially-averaged fluxes of heat, mass and momentum in the urban boundary layer, Weather and Climate, 9, 14-21.


  • Roth M, 2013: 'Urban Heat Islands' in Handbook of Environmental Fluid Dynamics, Volume Two, ed. HJS Fernando, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 143-159.

Other Information

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)

Geography Weather Portal click here

Cool and very useful: Shadow Yoga

Service to Profession

  • 2014-     Member, Asian Network on Climate Science and Technology (ANCST) International Scientific Advisory Committee
  • 2013-     Associate Editor, International Journal of Climatology (JOC)
  • 2012-     Editorial board member, Urban Climate
  • 2008-09 Chair, Scientific Committee, 7th International Conference on Urban Climate
  • 2007-09 President, International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC)
  • 2006-     Editorial board member, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
  • 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
  • 2000-13  Board member, International Association for Urban Climate

Invited Presentations (Recent)

  • Urban Meteorology and Climate Conference (Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, City University of Hong Kong), Hong Kong, May 2017 (Presenter)
  • 6th Intl Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environment (King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi), Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 2016 (Presenter)
  • 5th Asia-Pacific International Conference (Korea Legislation Res Inst), Seoul, South Korea, Nov 2016 (Presenter)
  • Intl Conferences on Geological, Geographical, Aerospaces and Earth Sciences (AeroEarth 2014) (IIAI, SERSC), Bali, Indonesia, Oct 2014 (Keynote speaker)
  • WISE Intl Workshop 2013 (WISE), Seoul, South Korea, Jun 2013 (Presenter)
  • Urban and Rural Meteorology Workshop 2012 (KMA), Jeju, South Korea, Aug 2012 (Presenter)
  • Intl Workshop on the Digitization of Historical Climate Data (BMKG, KNMI), Bogor, Indonesia, Apr 2012 (Presenter)
  • Workshop on Carbon Dioxide in the Urban Atmosphere (University of Auckland), 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
  • Intl 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, Göteborg, Sweden, 12-16 June 2006 (Plenary talk)

Media and Consulting

  • 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

  • 2013-     Deputy Head, Department of Geography
  • 2010-     Deputy Director, Bachelor of Environmental Studies Programme (BES)
  • 2012      Acting Head, Department of Geography
  • 2010-11 Deputy Head, Department of Geography
  • 2008-10 Faculty Review Committee (member)


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