Program Activity

Climate Variations Research Program

The founder of IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), Dr. Saji Hameed has transferred to International Pacific Research Center from our Program in February. We should like to introduce Dr. Saji's past and current research activity.

I joined IGCR in Feb, 1998. My most important work was in describing the nature of the Indian Ocean Dipole Mode phenomenon. Along with Prof. Toshio Yamagata and other colleagues I described the spatial structure and the evolution of the IOD for the first time. We showed that a dipole like SST anomaly patterns evolves hand in hand with changes of easterly winds near the equatorial Indian Ocean. Subsequently this leads to the westward shift of a large zone of convection in the southeast equatorial Indian Ocean thereby bringing droughts over Sumatra and floods over East Africa. In a recent study along with Prof.

Yamagata I showed that the IOD also affects the Walker and Hadley circulations over the Indian Ocean. We showed that these changes in the atmospheric circulation can lead to teleconnection patterns which can affect climate in regions remote from the Indian Ocean. An example of such a teleconnection effect is the tendency for IOD to create warmer than normal summers over Japan and warmer than normal springs over South America.

Currently I am exploring the atmospheric mechanisms that can create these teleconnection patterns.

Hydrological Cycle Research Program

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.

Global Warming Reserch Program

The PICES MODEL/REX Task Team Workshop was held in two places in Japan, namely Nemuro, Hokkaido from 26-27 January, and at Frontier Research System for Global Change, Yokohama on 29th January.

Dr.Kishi of the Global Warming Research Program served as a convenor. Funded by the Heiwa-Nakajima Foundation, nine participants come from abroad: three each from United Stated and Russia, one each from Canada, China and Korea. The ten participants from Japan included five from FRSGC (Drs. Kishi, Yasuhiro Yamanaka, Lan Smith, Sanae Chiba, and Kazuaki Tadokoro).

This workshop built upon the NEMURO (North pacific Ecosystem Model for Understanding Regional Oceanography) developed at the previous NEMURO workshop in 2000 (Yamanaka's group has developed a carbon cycle model based on the original NEMURO).

This time, by including a bioenergetics model of high catch fishes, we developed the NEMURO.FISH model (NEMURO For Incorporating Saury and Herring). The model is not yet complete, but we look forward to further developing and applying it. Unfortunately, our return flight was cancelled because of heavy snow, and we therefore had to cancel some of the presentations at FRSGC.

Atmospheric Composition Research Program

How the airborne pollutants produced over the Asian continent are entering the western Pacific region? To answer this question, NASDA, in co-operation with domestic and foreign researchers, conducted the aircraft observation,The Pacific Exploration of Asian Continental Emission phase-A (PEACE-A), from 6 to 23 January.

During that period, Dr. Masayuki Takigawa, a researcher of our program stayed at the base of operations in Kagoshima. He provided the chemical weather forecast, which contributed greatly to the route making of the airplane. The forecasting system, developed by Dr. Takigawa, incorporated the emission, dispersion, and photochemical processes of about 30 chemical species into atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM).

It can thus predict the global distribution of photochemical oxidants, sulfate aerosols, and their precursors for up to 4 days. The system predicted the atmospheric flow of pollutants accompanying the cold front passage, which agreed well with the observation.

Figure caption: A chemical weather map at 6:00GMT 21st January predicted on the previous day. Regions with high concentrations of CO, NOx, and SO2 are represented by yellow, green, and white plumes, respectively.

Violet areas represent regions with high concentrations of surface ozone. Based on this prediction, a research flight was conducted off the south coast of Japan on 21st.


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