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Research Center for Environmental Modeling and Application (CEMA)

Message from the Director

Untangling the complexities, seeing through the past, present, and future of the global environment

Michio Kawamiya
Director, Research Center for Environmental Modeling and Application (CEMA)

It is becoming clear that human activities are significantly influencing global climate and ecosystems. The present, when a single species plays such an important role in forming the global environment, may be an unprecedented epoch from the viewpoint of earth’s history. Research Center for Environmental Modeling and Application, or CEMA, works on researches on mechanism for oceanic and atmospheric variations including water and biogeochemical cycles, and assessment of human impacts on those variations.

Our main research tools include a high-resolution, cloud-resolving atmosphere model that reproduces extreme events such as typhoon, atmosphere-ocean coupled models dealing with physical variables such as temperature and precipitation, and earth system models incorporating oceanic and terrestrial biogeochemical dynamics important for formation of the global environment.

These models differ in what phenomena they are good at reproducing. Recent researches revealed that those are interacting in intricate ways. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), for example, is an oscillatory phenomenon of equatorial convection with an intra-seasonal timescale, and playing important roles in triggering both longer-term events such as El Niño and shorter-term ones such as typhoon. Models that we have been developing so far can be best utilized when they collaborate to create a new research field on the interactions among phenomena with different temporal and spatial scales.

It is CEMA’s hope that our researches lead to contribution to the society, through our effort to improved understanding on various aspects of the global environment, ranging from day-to-day meteorological phenomena to long-term climate modifications such as global warming and paleoclimate variation. Our researches encompassing the past, present, and future of global environment might provide a hint for thinking over the grand question, that is, the meaning of the existence of humankind for earth’s history.