Hisashi Nakamura of the Climate Variations Research Program Received the
Society Award from the Meteorological Society of Japan

Hisashi Nakamura, leader of the Climate Diagnostic Group in the Climate Variations Research Program of the Frontier Research System for Global Change (FRSGC) has been honored by the Meteorological Society of Japan (MSJ) for his accomplishments in the study of multi-scale interactions between synoptic-scale atmospheric disturbances along storm tracks and large-scale variations in the extra-tropical atmospheric and oceanic circulation. In the 2004 spring meeting of the MSJ, he received the Society Award, the highest academic honor of the MSJ awarded each year to one or two member scientists who have made significant contributions in the area of the atmospheric sciences over the several preceding years.

Nakamura, who received his Ph.D. in 1990 at the University of Washington, has been a faculty member of the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo since 1993. He joined the FRSGC right after its establishment in 1997. Over the last 10 years, he has made significant contributions in areas of (1) dynamics of atmospheric blocking, (2) decadal variability in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system over the North Pacific, and (3) the formation and variability of storm tracks#, by applying statistical analyses and dynamical diagnoses to observational data.

In collaboration with researchers Tanimoto, Yamane, Kagimoto and Kazmin of the FRSGC, Nakamura has found that decadal-scale coupled variability between the mid-latitude ocean and the Aleutian Low (AL) dominates sea-surface temperature (SST) variability observed over the Northwestern Pacific, especially in the sub-arctic frontal zone where SST anomalies induced by oceanic processes tends to control anomalous air-sea exchanges of heat and moisture. He also showed that this oceanic thermal influence tends to lead to decadal migrations of the storm track axis, acting to reinforce the basin-scale AL anomalies. Furthermore, in collaboration with researchers Honda and Yamane, he also showed that such AL anomalies tend to exert a remote influence on the intensity of the Icelandic Low in late winter, leading to the formation of a seesaw between the two low-pressure systems.

"The FRSGC has given me a great opportunity to have stimulating discussions with a number of excellent scientists from many countries", Nakamura says. "I hope I can contribute further to those areas not only through data analysis but also through high-resolution modeling on the Earth Simulator."

# Regarding (3), Nakamura received the Yamamoto-Shono Award from the MSJ in 1994 for his paper "Midwinter suppression of baroclinic wave activity in the Pacific (J. Atmos. Sci., 1992)".

Hisashi Nakamura giving a award lecture at spring meeting of MSJ