Weather makes Singapore one of world's lightning capitals Published on Nov 22, 2011 Singapore experiences an average of 186 days of lightning per year. -- ST FILE PHOTO By Feng Zengkun & Kezia Toh They were watching television when the lightning bolt struck. First, the family heard a clap of thunder, followed shortly afterwards by the clatter of tiles falling from the roof. When the owner, who wanted to be known only as Ms Loh, went outside to investigate, she was horrified to see smoke rising from her three-storey house. 'The roof was smouldering,' she said. RELATED LI NKS BOLT FROM THE BLUE B ACKGROUND STORY EASTERN HOTSPOTS Pasir Ris, March 2011 Insurance manager Tan Boon Kiat, 37, was struck by lightning and died while canoeing at Pasir Ris Park. Tanah Merah, January 2011 Mr Chen Yuk Fu, 62, was hit while golfing at the 18th hole of the Laguna National Golf and Country Club's Masters course on New Year's Day. He was hospitalised but survived despite burns to his head, neck and hand. Tanah Merah, October 2009 Garment company owner Soh Lye Huat, 57, was struck by lightning at the 17th hole of the Tanah Merah Country Club Garden Course. He went into a coma and died from multiple organ failure two weeks later. His family sued the club in June this year. They claim that it failed to ensure there were effective procedures in place to warn golfers and others about lightning. The bolt, which struck last week, had torn up two tiles and burned through the heat insulation. China to refuse binding targets at climate talks Published on Nov 22, 2011 BEIJING (AFP) - China said on Tuesday it would not take on binding emissions reduction targets at United Nations climate talks next week, even as it acknowledged being the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. At the Durban talks, China will support the Kyoto Protocol and its 'principle of common but differentiated responsibilities,' which requires developed nations to take on binding cuts, Beijing's top climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said. 'The emission-reduction plan for developed countries in the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol should be made clear as soon as possible,' Mr Xie told reporters. The first commitment period expires at the end of 2012. China was 'willing to take on commitments that are appropriate to our stage of development,' he said. Greenhouse gases soar; no signs warming is slowed Published on Nov 22, 2011 WASHINGTON (AP) - Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are building up so high, so fast, that some scientists now think the world can no longer limit global warming to the level world leaders have agreed upon as safe. New figures from the United Nations weather agency showed on Monday that the three biggest greenhouse gases not only reached record levels last year but were increasing at an ever-faster rate, despite efforts by many countries to reduce emissions. As world leaders meet next week in South Africa to tackle the issue of climate change, several scientists said their projections show it is unlikely the world can hold warming to the target set by leaders just two years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark. 'The growth rate is increasing every decade,' said Jim Butler, director of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Global Monitoring Division. 'That's kind of scary.' Scientists cannot say exactly what levels of greenhouse gases are safe, but some fear a continued rise in global temperatures will lead to irreversible melting of some of the world's ice sheets and a several-foot rise in sea levels over the centuries the so-called tipping point.