Report on the Second EU-Japan Symposium on Climate Research

Scientists and policy makers from the leading research centers in Europe and Japan held a joint symposium organized by European Commission (EC) on 13-14 March 2003 to discuss the present state of the climate research. About 23 participants from Japan and 20 participants from Europe attended the meeting held at the premises of the European Commission in Brussels. The symposium was organized under the framework of the EU-Japan science and technology cooperation and was a follow-up of the EU-Japan Climate Change Symposium held in Tokyo in March 1999. Emerging climate research programs in Japan and Europe provided an excellent backdrop for the Brussels meeting. Particularly, the research programs "Sustainable Coexistence of Human, Nature and the Earth" of the MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Japan and "Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems" of the EU Framework were recognized to foster common goals. It was also identified that the "Earth Simulator", world's most powerful computer installed in the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC) premises of the Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, provides an opportunity for high-resolution climate simulations.

The symposium was opened with a welcome address by Dr. Ghazi, Research Director-General, Biodiversity and Global Change Unit, EC. It was followed by presentations organized in five sessions: 1) Climate Research Strategy in EU and Japan, 2) Climate Variability, 3) The Hydrological Cycle, 4) Climate Modeling and 5) Observations and Data Assimilation.

In the opening talk of session 1, President Hirano of JAMSTEC discussed the long history of the cultural as well as science and technology exchanges between European countries and Japan. While discussing recent climate research in Japan, he drew attention to the discovery of the Indian Ocean Dipole by Dr. Yamagata and coworkers and the research on seesaw between the Aleutian and Icelandic lows by Dr. Nakamura and co-workers in the Climate Variation Research Program of Frontier Research System for Global Change (FRSGC). In his presentation, Dr. Ghazi provided the details about the EU 6th Framework Program for Research and Technology Development. Mr. Kawata, Dr. Kondo and Dr. Sakuma from Japan presented the research programs of the MEXT and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), global warming research, and modeling effort at the Earth Simulator Center respectively.

The second session focused on the climate variability based on data analysis and model simulations. A couple of presentations discussed the results of SINTEX-F1.0 coupled model, which was developed under the EU-Japan collaborative framework. The societal benefit of multi-model seasonal predictions under the DEMETER project was discussed by Dr. Palmer. Presentations in session 3 were focused on the regional aspects of land surface processes and hydrological cycle. Modeling studies for generating anthropogenic climate change scenarios were presented in session 4, starting with the presentation by FRSGC Director-General Dr. Matsuno on the "Integrated Earth System Modeling at FRSGC". In session 5, data assimilation studies including the present state of the 4-D data assimilation utilizing coupled models in Japan were presented.

The symposium was concluded with notes to strengthen the collaborations in climate change research and prediction, and to hold regular joint meetings.