Program Activity(Continued)

Ecosystem Change Research Program
Dr.Takashi Nishimura, who joined our program in January 2001 is happy to introduce his research field, a subalpine forest in Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan.

Photograph of Siretoko
There grows very many sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii Masters) and sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis Masters) in the subalpine forest in Shiretoko, Hokkaido, Japan. P. glehnii grow relatively slower but live three times longer than A. sachalinensis. However, if all conditions in the forest stay the same, A. sachalinensis grow a lot more than P. glehnii. In winter, it snows a lot and strong prevailing winds blow, so some of the trees fall, but the damage is different between these two kinds of tree. P. glehnii are hard and strong, while A. sachalinensis of small diameter are vulnerable and fall down very easily. Because of the snow and wind thinning trees of A. sachalinensis, P. glehnii can stay in the forest.

The mechanisms to maintain forests are very sensitive. Amount of snowfall and strength of wind vary drastically every year, but these days, there frequently occurs abnormal weather. Since the trees live very long, there will be no instant effect for abnormal weather, but we might see completely different forests in the future.


Integrated Modeling Research Program
In the Next-Generation Model Research Group, develop-ment of a shallow-water model using an icosahedral grid and a conformal cubic grid, and a non-hydrostatic model meeting the conservation of mass and energy has been almost completed. Following on from these two models, we have shifted our development scheme to a global three-dimensional non-hydrostatic model. Based on the program's non-hydrostatic model, we are studying the physical process to be utilized for the next-generation model.

Drs. Sato and Tomita participated in the 2001 Workshop on Partial Differential Equations over the Spherical Surface (PDE 2001) held in Montreal, Canada in July, and presented their research results on the numerical calculation method of the next generation model. In September, Drs. Sato, Tomita, and Nasuno participated in the Fourth International Workshop on Short Range Numerical Weather Prediction (SRNWP 2001) held in Bad Orp, Germany and gave their presentation on the current hydrostatic model.

In the Coupled-Model Development Group, sea ice has been integrated into the group's ocean model. The group is also progressing with the coupling of the atmosphere model and ocean model, in cooperation with the Earth Simulator Research Center.

In the Data Assimilation Research Group, data assimilation using ARGO data has been carried out in co-operation with Frontier Observation System for Global Change (FORSGC). While most ocean observation data are taken from the sea surface, this ARGO data is able to obtain the sea temperature and salinity throughout the upper 2000m. It is thus expected to help elucidate the detailed structure of the global ocean circulation.


International Pacific Research Center (IPRC)
The IPRC held its First Regional Climate Modeling Workshop at the East-West Center from October 10 to 12. Regional climate modelers came from China, Japan, and the US to identify problems in regional climate modeling and to guide future regional climate model development and application. An impetus for this workshop was that Yuqing Wang and Omer Sen at the IPRC have been able to realistically simulate the onset and four months of the 1998 Asian monsoon.

Moreover, several IPRC scientists (Xiouhua Fu, Johannes Loschnigg, Tim Li, Bing Wang, Yongsheng Zhang) are working on simulating monsoon climatology over various regions of Asia. They show that air-sea interaction plays a role in enhancing the northward propagation of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation over the Indian Ocean, which impacts the monsoon simulation by connecting two convective bands, the monsoon trough and the equatorial Indian Ocean convective zone.

On November 6, the IPRC received important visitors from the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center: Dr. Hiroshi Ohba, Chairman; Mr. Masato Chijiya, Executive Director; and Mr. Seiichi Nishimura, Staff Supervisor. The group toured the IPRC facilities and met with Frontier Researchers and Shang-Ping Xie, Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii.


International Arctic Research Center (IARC)

Dr.Takeuchi
2001.9.4 At Gulkana Glacier in the Alaska Range, sampling of surface ice (Photo taken by Ned Rozell)
In IARC's Multi-Disciplinary Research Group, in order to evaluate effect of the biogeochemical processes on climate system in the Arctic, various observations have been conducted at ocean, permafrost, and glacier this year. Among them, we would like to introduce observation of the surface albedo and microbial activity on glaciers by Dr. Takeuchi, whose research activity has recently been introduced in the Fairbanks' local newspaper.

On the surface of snow and ice, there are unique living microbes adapted to low temperature environment. The purpose of this observation is to verify the new idea, that propagation of these particular microbes decreases the albedo of snow-ice surface, and control melting of glacier, sea ice, and seasonal snow cover, then quantify its effect. From May to September, he conducted the observation of albedo and sampling of the snow and ice on Alaskan glaciers and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

As a result of this observation, it was found out that also in Alaskan glaciers, microbial activity reduces the surface albedo. In order to quantify the effect, he is proceeding with the analysis of the snow and ice samples.


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