TOPIC Frontier Newsletter No.14 Mar.2001


Frontier Observational Research System for Global Change
Here, we like to introduce activities of the FORSGC, which collaborates with the FRSGC for the global change research.
Dr. Ryuichi Shirooka, a sub-leader, who belongs to both of the Climate Variations Observational Research Program and the Hydrological Cycle Observational Research Program, will explain his research results.




Pacific Area Long-term Atmospheric observation for the Understanding of climate change (PALAU) project

Dr. Ryuichi SHIROOKA (Climate Variations Observational Research Program and Hydrological Cycle Observational Research Program, FORSGC)


The western tropical Pacific is a key area for global climate systems especially on ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) events.

To understand the mechanism of air-sea interaction and clouds-precipitation processes over the warm water pool in the western tropical pacific region near the republic of Palau, FORSGC (Climate Variations Observational Research Program and Hydrological Cycle Observational Research Program) started a new research project named PALAU (Pacific Area Long-term Atmospheric observation for the Understanding of climate change).

Main purpose of the project is to describe multi-scale structure and interaction of cloud cluster, super cloud cluster, and intra-seasonal variations. Elucidating the structure of westerly wind burst, which will become a cause of El Nino is also a major interest.


Fig.1 Observational area in PALAU2000.
Fig.1 Observational area in PALAU2000.





In the last year, we put the PALAU2000 project into practice coincide with the R/V Mirai MR00-K07 cruse (mainly located at 2°N 138°E). Surface meteorological observations (temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, air pressure, radiations, precipitation, etc.) were continuously performed at Peleliu Island. Three dimensional upper air soundings were carried out from Guam by using the multiple Aerosondes (robotic unmanned aerial vehicles).

To clarify the detail mechanism of water vapor transport in lower atmosphere around the tropics, we will introduce some new equipment (total sky imager, ceilometer, and microwave radiometer) to Peleliu in the PALAU2001. Aerosondes will be launched from Palau for simultaneous observation with Doppler radar on the R/V Mirai.

Furthermore, to establish a long-term observational system for intra-seasonal to decadal time scale climate change, we want to install Doppler weather radar into Palau and continue the observations. We also have a plan to set up intensive observations by using many different types of equipment, such as an airplane and transportable cloud radar, to elucidate the structure and role of cumulus convections over warm water pool.

Fig.2 Aerosonde launching at Northwest Field, Guam.
Fig.2 Aerosonde launching at Northwest Field, Guam.



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