Newsletter No.3 July-1998 

On the JCOPE

Program Director, Dr.Yamagata

Since the start of the Climate Variation Research Program last October, we have commenced various kinds of research concerning decadal to interdecadal climate change. In this context, I would like to introduce the JCOPE (Japan Coastal Ocean Predictability Experiment) which has been promoted by researchers including Dr. Fukuda, Dr. Guo, and Mr. Miyazawa. It has also won the cooperation of Mr. Minato, Senior Research Official of the Meteorological Research Institute. It is very important to understand how climate changes influence local areas and to utilize the results for a long-term countermeasure. Now that United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has been enacted, it will become increasingly important for Japan, which is surrounded by the ocean, to appropriately control the exclusive economic zone and to promote sustainable development. I hope that the JCOPE will contribute to these goals.

JCOPE is an abbreviation of Japan Coastal Ocean Predictability Experiment, and an experimental research to study possibility of marine-state forecast for the seas around Japan. Japan is surrounded by the main four seas ( the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the Pacific), which means very blessed environment. Recently, along with getting worse of global environment, their environment are also changing more seriously. The drift ices in the Sea of Okhotsk, which are origin of fertile biogenic production, seem to be decreasing due to global warming. There are some seas affected more strongly by the impact of human activities, such as the outflow of crude oil from the tankers in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. On the other hand, Japan faces the Pacific on the east, being affected directly by the effect of climate variations. It is very important to know what is happening in the seas, which influences the lives and the society of Japanese people. JCOPE is the planned project with the purpose mentioned above.

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