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No 30

Railway track on a bridge beam to minimize heat disturbances at the ground
Railway track on a
bridge beam to minimize
heat disturbances
at the ground

Railway embankment to release heat effectively.
Railway embankment to
release heat effectively.

Introduction of the research of Dr. Kazuyuki Saito
Area underlain by seasonally or perennially frozen ground occupies more than half of the northern hemisphere (NH) open (excl. glaciers and ice sheets) land surface. It is the largest component of the terrestrial cryosphere under the current climate, larger than seasonal snow cover, which covers up to 45% of the NH open surface.
Depth of freezing/thawing varies from place to place. However, weakened soil-freezing of the upper several meters, through natural or anthropogenic disturbances, can already affect the local hydroclimate, vegetation, and the socio-economic activities. Furthermore, the physical, chemical and/or biological interactions and feedbacks may transfer the influences on regional to hemispheric scales. Our group has been developing and improving the terrestrial scheme for GCMs, that implements the essential processes so that we can gain better understandings of the frozen-ground change and its large-scale, as well as local-scale, influences.
High-latitude and/or high-altitude areas are more vulnerable. In August 2006, I attended the Asian Permafrost Conference in Lanzhou, China, and the subsequent field excursion to the Tibetan Plateau, with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway where the minimum altitude of permafrost has been lifting up in the receut years.

Photos : The Qinghai-Tibet Railway: Railway tracks have constructed after the results of various kinds of research to minimize influences to permafrost under different land and climate conditions.

No 29
Dr. Yoshiki Fukutomi, who has been dispatched from our Program to IPRC in Hawaii, introduces his research activities.
I joined the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawaii in October 2005 as a Frontier visiting assistant researcher.
At Frontier since 2001, I have been studying the causes of the interannual variations in the northern Eurasian climate and hydrological cycle. At the IPRC, I am returning to my monsoon research and working with Prof. Bin Wang on the Asian-Australian Monsoon System Team. I had previously investigated characteristics of low-level southerly surges on sub-monthly timescales over the eastern Indian Ocean and topical-extratropical interaction associated with the southerly surges. The surges are caused by the development of a mid-latitude Rossby wave that propagates in the Southern Hemisphere and involves cold, dry air advection, tropical convection, and an equatorial wave response. The surge has a significant impact on the atmosphere-ocean system in the tropical Indian Ocean region. I am now extending this work with 4-dimensional data assimilation and satellite observational data products and studying dynamics of the cross-equatorial influence of this transient southerly surge on the south Asian monsoon region and the surge-induced air-sea interaction processes.


No 28
 GAME (GEWEX Asian Monsoon Experiment; GEWEX is Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment), in which many membersof our HCRP have participated, was formally finished in March 2005. A new framework is being prepared in order to furtherpromote studies related to GEWEX in Asia partly based on the heritage of GAME. Though its name and details have not yet beendecided, its concept at an interim stage as discussed in an international workshop held on 28 August in Kyoto is as follows. Itsmain objective is to build capacity of hydro-meteorological prediction of the time scales up to seasonal through betterunderstanding of Asian monsoon. The impact of human activity, such as emission of aerosols and greenhouse gases and land-usechange, on the hydrological cycle is one of the key issues to be examined. The target area is the whole monsoon Asia, and it canalso be considered as four subregions: Tropical Asia (including not only Indochina Penisula which was the target area of GAME-Tropics but also Indonesian Maritime Continent and Indian Subcontinent), Tibet/Himalayas, East Asia, and Northeast Asia (includingMongolia). Studies of the hydrological cycle in Siberia will be promoted mainly in the context of another international researchprogram CliC (Climate and Cryosphere).


No 27
Introduction of Masayuki Hara, who joined our Program in July 2004.
Prior to coming to FRCGC as research assistant, I was a graduate student of University of Tsukuba, and I studied mechanism of a cyclone that causes much snow along the southern slope of the Himalaya using regional meteorological model.
One of my particular interests is diurnal cycle and spatial structure of convective activity over the Monsoon Asia. I conduct some simulations over the Maritime Continent and the Bay of Bengal using regional meteorological model. The diurnal cycle of convective activity in the tropics is one of the major energy sources for driving the circulation of the atmosphere. Studying the mechanism of the diurnal cycle is important to understand mechanism of various meteorological processes the in Monsoon Asia.



No 26

Report of meetings by Dr. Kuba

I stayed at Humburg, Germany for 1 week from 11 July to attend the International Cloud Modeling Workshop 2004. The main purpose of this workshop was to verify models by using data from large-scale observations. At Working Group Meetings, as well as at Plenary Sessions, I was able to have a cooperation from the observation team. After the workshop, I moved to Bologna, Italy to attend the International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation (ICCP2004). The conference was very fulfilling because subjects discussed during the term (1 week) were all related to Cloud Physics. I have worked on determining initial cloud drop size distribution of microphysical model with bin method using the parcel model with particle method in Lagrangian framework form cloud condensation nuclei. However, it is difficult to introduce a parcel model and bin model together into a 3-D nonhydrostatic model. Thus I developed parameterization for determining the initial cloud drop size distribution to introduce at the conference. During discussion among participants, I realized that many researchers had the same problem, and felt sense of solidarity.


Report of a Symposium by Dr. Iwabuchi

I attended the International Radiation Symposium (IRS) 2004 held in Pusan, South Korea for 1 week from 23 August. In this largest international symposium related to Atmospheric Radiation, recent issues in this field were discussed thoroughly. The most impressive presentation was about the study on the regional distribution of radiation balance that is changed by introducing the sub-grid-scale effect of cloud radiation into a global atmospheric circulation. This effect of cloud radiation may also affect other distributions such as precipitation. I then felt the need of introducing this effect into climate models in Japan. Meanwhile, I presented the study on 3-D radiation transfer in atmosphere that includes cloud. Thanks to getting valuable comments from many researchers, I was able to spend fulfilling time in this conference.



No 25

  The Clouds and Precipitation Process Group conducts joint Artificial Cloud Experiments with other research institutions every year, utilizing the Kamaishi mine shaft (approximately 450 meters in depth), to demonstrate indirect effects of aerosol. This year, we conducted the experiments at the end of November. Changing ascending velocity and the number density of cloud condensation nuclei, we were able to validate the detailed cloud physics models and parameterizations developed by our group. Dr. Chuang, University of California, Santa Cruz, came to join this experiment. He is interested in the effect of turbulence on the cloud droplet size distributions. After this year's experiments, we invited him to give a lecture, entitled "Studies of aerosol-cloud-climate interactions" at the Formal Seminar held at the Frontier Research Center for Global Change.

No 24

Land surface processes takes an important role in energy and water exchange at lower boundary of the atmosphere, and is one of the essential components in climate modeling. A land surface model, Minimal Advanced Treatments of Surface Interaction and Runoff (MATSIRO), was developed for climate studies including the necessary processes as simple as possible (Takata, Emori and Watanabe, 2003). In MATSIRO, energy and water balances are calculated at the vegetation and ground surfaces. Since the balances largely vary with and without snow cover, they are calculated separately in snow-covered and snow-free portions. The rate of snow coverage at sub-grid scale is estimated from snow amount. Snow cover reflectivity significantly affects the energy balance, thus it is estimated considering time since last snowfall and snow temperature. Transpiration of vegetation is calculated using a simple photosynthesis model. Soil has multiple layers so that it can represent frozen ground. A runoff model that considers simplified sub-grid topography is implemented. Sub-leader Dr. Takata and her coauthors have validated MATSIRO using the observation data in Tundra region, and examined the sensitivity of major parameters for heat, water and CO2 fluxes. Dr. Motoya and his coauthors have examined the model's global water balance using a global atmospheric data set, and studied the effect of precipitation gauge correction. We expect these researches will deepen our understanding of the land surface processes and their role on the hydrological cycle.

No 23

We would like to introduce a business trip report by Dr. Xieyao Ma.

From April 6 to 11, I participated in the European Geophysical Society (EGS)-American Geophysical Union (AGU)-European Union of Geosciences (EUG) Joint Assembly held in Nice, France. It was the first time for these three societies to jointly organize a conference. It was also the first time for me to attend a conference organized by any of these societies. On the opening day, the number of researchers attending the conference exceeded sponsors' expectations, which lead to some confusion. The sessions conducted in the large venue ran simultaneously, which kept me busy every day. Fortunately, since each session proceeded as scheduled, I was able to listen to various presentations that interested me, including the great floods in Europe over recent years, changes in the amount of water resources in each region associated with climate changes, and progress in hydrological modeling on land surface. I myself made a poster presentation of hydrological analytical results in a semi-arid region of Mongolia and enjoyed lively discussions with a number of researchers. As a result, I spent quite a meaningful time during the six days of the conference. I am looking forward to applying the research trends shared at this Joint Assembly to my own studies.

No 22

Report of the fall meeting of American Geophysical Union (AGU) by Rikie Suzuki

I have participated in the fall meeting of AGU held in San Francisco from 6 to 10 December 2002. When I checked the news in Japan from the free wireless LAN in the corner of the hall, it seemed that they had a heavy snow in Kanto Area, which was unusual for this season. I then appreciated the fact that I was at San Francisco, which has relatively warm winter by locating in the Mediterranean climate. The photo is the hall for the poster session, in which free beers were provided. The huge hall was divided into specific scientific fields. It was very impressive for me that apart from traditional specialized fields, there were noticeable amount of new studies, cross-cutting among the different areas. Presenters stood in front of each poster, and active discussions were held all over the hall. My main interest was the condition of the global vegetation. Various challenging researches based on the vegetation distribution data obtained from earth observation satellite, etc, have been carried out, and I was able to obtain useful information for our newest research trend.

No 21

Yasunari, Kimura, Fujiyoshi, Masuda, and Oki participated the meeting on the GAME International Scientific Panel held on 6-7 November in Tokyo. It has been decided to organize a meeting on regional climate modeling related to Monsoon, and to collect and share of 5-year climate data from 1997-2001 to discuss the annual variation. From 29-30 October, Yasunari, Masuda, and Oki joined the Workshop on GAME-Tropics (Chiang Rai, Thailand). Topics emphasized include science basis for water resource prediction, and capacity building of researchers in Asia.

From 30 September to 1 October, Oki and Motoya participated in the Kick-off Workshop on Global Soil Wetness Project (GSWP). Many discussions were made on the model inter-comparison by the land surface process simulation using the common input dataset, and the strategy for a longer-term simulation in the next phase of GSWP. At the International Conference on mesoscale convective systems and heavy rainfall/snowfall in East Asia held on 29-31 October in Tokyo, Nakamura presented simulation results on mesoscale disturbances observed in the Meiyu Frontal Zone.

No 20

As our Program Director Yasunari, and Sub Group Leader of Cloud and Precipitation group, Yamasaki received 2002 Fujiwara Award of Meteorological Society of Japan, IGCR Formal Seminar by the two recipients, titled "Role of GEWEX Asian Monsoon Experiment (GAME) in the Climate and Hydrological Studies in Asia" and "Study of Tropical Cyclones and Tropical Disturbances - Understanding of CISK and the Mesoscale with Two Types of Numerical Models" respectively, was held at JAMSTEC's Yokohama Institute of Earth Science on 28 July 2002.

Researcher of Cloud and Precipitation Group, Kuba participated in the Conference of American Meteorological Society, 11th Joint Meeting of Cloud Physics and Atmospheric radiation, held at Ogden, Uta, United States. She made a presentation on the effects of aerosols (as cloud condensation nuclei) on the precipitation efficiency. In addition, she proposed new parameterizations to predict number concentration of cloud droplets and to evaluate the optical properties of clouds, and also proposed a method to retrieve CCN spectrum at the 5th APEX International Workshop held in Miyazaki, Japan from 3-5 July.

No 19

In the Spring Conference on Japan Meteorological Society held in 22-24 May at Omiya, Japan, presenters from our program were; Program Director Dr. Yasunari, Group Leaders Drs. Kimura and Fujiyoshi, as well as Drs. Yamasaki, Takata, Suzuki, Endo, Ju, Fukutomi, Yoshikane, and Iwabuchi.

Dr. Ma of Land Surface Processes and Land Atmosphere Interaction Group joined the Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting 2002 held at New Zealand in July, and presented his research on dry and semiarid areas in Mongolia. In the Cloud and Precipitation Group, Group Leader Dr. Fujiyoshi participated in the Workshop on Japan-China Precipitation System Observational Research held in Hainan Province, China from 23-26 April and presented the research result on the model comparison experiment on meso-disturbance developed over the Baiu Front. Dr. Nakamura joined the workshop on GEWEX Cloud System Studies (GCSS) in Kananaskis and presented the result of the analysis and numerical simulation of some disturbances observed during WMO-01.

In April, Dr. Iwabuchi joined the Cloud and Precipitation Group. He is conducting his research, both from Observation and model perspectives, regarding the effects of three- dimensional radiative transmission on radiative characteristics of the clouds.
No 18

Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Asia Monsoon Experiment (GAME) Domestic Meeting was held at Kyoto University Hall from 8-9 January. Program Director, Dr. Yasunari, Group Leaders Drs. Kimura and Fujiyoshi, and our researchers, Drs. Tsuboki, Oki, Masuda, Takata, Yamazaki, Tanaka, and Ma joined the meeting and presented our research results.

In the meeting, we introduced our researches: Seasonal cycle of water balance components in major river basins, intercomparison of hydrological land model, PILPS2(e), role of ocean land distribution and mountain for the effect of water cycle on land in Asian region in summer, etc. In particular, Dr. Fujiyoshi presented result of model comparative experiment of cloud cluster developed over the Baiu front (2nd July, 1998), and discussed the problems.

As GAME Phase I has been carried out focusing on intensive observation of each region, in the GAME Phase II, the research will be focused on intensive thinking by elucidation of observed data and modeling. Structure of the working group will planned to be process base, such as land surface processes, cloud and precipitation, monsoon system study, water and energy balance, etc, instead of region bases.

No 17

In the 5th International GAME (GEWEX Asia Monsoon Experiment) Conference, held in Nagoya, Japan, in early October, nine researchers including Program Director Dr. Yasunari, Drs. Takata, Suzuki, Endo, Tanaka, Kishtawal, Fukutomi, Tomita, and Yamazaki presented our researches. These include; time space characteristics of atmospheric water balance in monsoon Asia, temporal variation of precipitable water in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia, surface energy/water balance in the tundra region and so forth.

Soon after the GAME conference, Drs.Yamasaki, Takata, Yamazaki, Kuba, Nakamura, Tomita, Xu, Yoshikane, total of eight researchers participated in fall meeting of Meteorological Society of Japan, and presented their research results. They are; a study of cloud clusters associated with a Baiu front, snow models intercomparison project, cloud simulation using a detailed cloud microphysical model, result of the simulation of cloud system development associated with an extratropical cyclone, interannual variation of the meridional distribution of the Baiu front and so forth.

The cloud and precipitation process group has been conducting numerical experiments of the cloud cluster involved Baiu Front during the special observation period of GAME/HUBEX (Huaihe River Basin Experiment). The results were presented by Group Leader Dr. Fujiyoshi at the HUBEX Workshop held in Kunming, China in December.

No 16

Program Director Dr.Yasunari, and five of our researchers,Drs. Masuda, Tomita, Yamazaki, Kuba, and Maruyama participated in the 8th Scientific Assembly of International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS).

The presentations included discussions on the results of initial analyses from an international comparison of snow cover models, an introduction to newly developed microphysical models for cloud simulation, an introduction to results from models that simulate the aggregation process in snowflake growth, and the results of data analysis concerning the Asian Monsoon circulation. The group was able to gain valuable insights from the conference for future research.

In early September, the 4th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle (GEWEX) was held in Paris. Dr. Yasunari, Vice-Chair of the GEWEX Scientific Steering Group (SSG), together with Drs. Masuda, Suzuki, and Fukutomi participated in the conference. The conference is expected to stimulate research on predicting hydrological cycles concerning seasonal change and interannual variability in the atmosphere-land water budget, along with the role of vegetation.

Dr.Kishtawal has been using data from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) thereby advancing analysis of the distribution of the height of rain tops over the sea, with respect to sea surface temperature and monsoon circulation. Dr.Sung-Dae Kang from the Meteorological Research Institute of Korea Meteorological Administration joined us from July.