Establishment of Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC)

In July 2004, following the restructuring of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), after seven years since its establishment in 1997, the "Frontier Research System for Global Change " became the "Frontier Research Center for Global Change".

As one of the Independent Administrative Institutions established under Japanese government reform, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, the former Japan Marine Science and Technology Center is expected to have publicness, transparency, and independence for its activities. Therefore, the new JAMSTEC is requested to serve the citizens and society by conducting basic research development on marine and earth science and technology, and by facilitating the information disclosure and utilization of its research outputs.

Under this reform, the new JAMSTEC has re-structured its organization having research development as its core activity. As a result, four research centers namely, 1) Institute of Observational Research for Global Change (IORGC), 2) Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC), 3) Institute for Research on Earth Evolution (IFREE), and 4) Extremobiosphere Research Center were established. In addition, to facilitate technology development, three centers 1) Marine Technology Center (MARITEC), 2) Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX), and 3) Earth Simulator Center (ESC) were established.

Among four research centers listed above, the Frontier Research Center for Global Change aims at prediction of global environmental change by both natural and anthropogenic causes such as climate variation and global warming. From now on, the FRCGC will carry out our research activities based on the new mid-term five years plan and have periodical assessment of overall activities both on research themes and management system. Having a clear vision to realize our goal, we will carry over our mission of the Frontier Research System for Global Change to the Frontier Research Center for Global Change, which is "Toward the Prediction of Global Change." Moreover, by conducting external evaluation, we will confirm our research targets and make contribution by providing clear output useful for the society.

The FRCGC consists of six research programs: four of which conducts disciplinary researches on climate variations, hydrological cycle, atmospheric composition, and ecosystem change; then, by promoting inter-program/cross-cutting activities and integrating each process research and sub-models, two research programs carry out research activities on global warming and integrated earth system modeling. Furthermore, in addition to the future anthropogenic climate change prediction, studies on natural climate variations on seasonal to decadal time scales are also main activities of FRCGC.

As a new research center, Frontier Research Center for Global Change will make progress towards realizing our goal of "prediction of global change."

Taroh Matsuno
Frontier Research Center for Global Change