Earth is the only planet in the solar system that supports life. Under perfect natural conditions, the Earth’s water, atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems benefit us in various ways.

On the other hand, natural phenomena such as El Niño can bring severely unusual weather to the entire globe. As humans, we are vulnerable to even small changes in climate.

It is now widely recognized that the accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will affect the natural energy balance and may cause global warming and climate change. The first step towards mitigating this possible climate change was taken just after the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3), held in Kyoto, at the end of 1997. The World Summit on Sustainable Development, or the “Johannesburg Summit,” held in September 2002 in the Republic of South Africa, reconfirmed that we must protect natural ecosystems in order to enhance our standard of living. We must therefore study natural global events to understand their mechanisms and to predict changes.

The Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) aims to contribute to society by elucidating the mechanisms of various global events and thereby enabling their prediction. However, because of the complexity of the processes involved, it is not easy to predict global changes. By considering the Earth as a single system, the FRCGC will examine the complex interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, and land, and develop models that incorporate these elements. Through process research and modeling and the eventual development of an integrated earth system model, the FRCGC will promote reliable prediction of various phenomena on Earth.