Report of the FRCGC's Participation in the 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties(COP10)

Since 2003, the Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) has worked as a national support body for the IPCC Working Group 1 (WG1) toward the publication of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report in 2007, under the guidance of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Furthermore, since 2002, the FRCGC is carrying out five of the seven research studies (partly or the whole) of a MEXT's research project, "Sustainable Coexistence of Humans, Nature, and the Earth", and making various contributions to addressing issues on global warming. After Russia's ratification in November 2003, the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty on global warming, which sets legally binding limits on green house gas emissions in industrialized countries, will finally enter into force in February 2005, seven plus years after its signing. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted during the 3rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP3). Since then, time had past and we had the 10th session now. This 10th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) was held in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, from 6th to 18th December 2004. It was recognized as an important meeting to make a substantial step forward for the countermeasure against global warming.

La Rural Exhibition Center, the meeting venue for the COP10

The high-level meeting
During the COP 10 meeting period, the FRCGC joined the COP10 exhibition at the La Rural Center, the meeting venue, and introduced in the Japan booth our activities as one of the "frontier" research centers, to study scientific aspects of global change. At the exhibition booth, the FRCGC presented our recent research activities such as modeling of carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystem, trend of hydrological cycle in China, the response of the Kuroshio to global warming, as well as the most recent global change simulations and projections using the Earth Simulator.

A number of people, those from international organizations, government officials, and people from Argentina, visited out booth to know the details of our research center, our research activities, and possibilities for future cooperation. Among many visitors, some of the interesting people are; the National Director of National Metrology Services, Seychelles, who is actually experiencing extreme weather and interested in Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the Head of Climate Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature,(WWF) -Netherlands, who is conducting research on climate change and extreme weather, the Coordinator on Vulnerability and Adaptation, Peruvian Program on Climate Change and Air Quality who is interested in application and adaptation research on natural science as well as forest and El Niño simulation, the Head of Climate Change Program, Global and Structural Policies Division, Environment Directorate, OECD who would like to obtain research results of the Earth Simulator, and a German Assembly member in charge of Environment who is interested in Japan's policy on global warming issues.

The FRCGC's exhibition booth

On 9th December, the side event, titled "Climate Change Projection by the Earth Simulator and Related Research Outcomes" was organized by the MEXT. Mr. Junsaku Mizuhata, Deputy Director of the Office for Development of International Earth Observation Strategy, MEXT made the opening address and the briefing on the RR2002 project as a MEXT activity to tackle global warming. Then Mr.Toru Mr.Shigetomi, Associate Director of Planning Department, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) introduced the general outline of the JAMSTEC. He talked on the characteristic features of research conducted in the FRCGC, where all Earth's aspects related to global change are considered. He also made general description of the Earth Simulator, located in the same premises as the FRCGC (both are belonging to JAMSTEC's Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences). Then, Dr. Hiroki Kondo, Senior Scientist of the FRCGC showed the recent outcomes of model experiments in Japan utilizing the Earth Simulator, on the simulation and the future projection of global climate, regional climate and extreme events by a high resolution global climate model (for scenario based long-term runs), a super-high resolution model with the time slice method (applied for 10~20 years to present or future climate) and a regional climate model , all developed in Japan. He also highlighted the development of integrated earth system model at the FRCGC, which reflects feedback effects of the ecosystem and other factors under climate change on the concentration of the carbon dioxide through carbon cycle. The model includes interactions among changes in climate, ecosystem, and chemical compositions of atmosphere. Some preliminary simulation results by the Earth Simulator were shown. Dr.Yoshiaki Nishimura, Senior Staff of CS Promotion Division, Central CS Promotion Office, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry of Japan, represented a research group addressing mainly the issue of the stabilization level of green house gas, which will not give adverse effects on humans. He showed the results of the projection experiments with use of the Earth Simulator based on a community climate model developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), U.S.A. Dr. Matthew Collins from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office highlighted their recent research results and talked on collaborative projects between Japan and UK on climate change research through comparative experiments. Dr. Jose Marengo from the Center for Weather Forecasts and Climate Studies, National Institute for Space Research of Brazil reported on a tropical low disturbance (named as "Hurricane Catarina") which landed the Southern Brazil in March 2004 and could be considered as a tropical cyclone, never observed in the South Atlantic in the past. He stated his view that this natural disaster was part of extreme events due to the amplification of degree in climate variation. The last presentation was made by Shuzo Nishioka, Executive Director of National Institute for Environmental Studies. He summarized some of research outcomes in Japan on the regional impact of global warming from the result of both modeling and observational research.


Side event hosted by the MEXT
Japan is known as one of the countries with advanced science and technology, and the results of our world famous supercomputer, the Earth Simulator, were introduced in this event. As a result, the event received high interests from many people, among many side events held every day during the meeting, and the event hall was full of interested audiences. After the event, many people visited FRCGC exhibition booth looking for Hiroki Kondo. The event was also largely highlighted in the Earth Negotiation Bulletin, the newsletter reporting the international conferences related UNFCCC (URL: http://www.iisd.ca/climate/cop10/enbots/9dec.htm). Also, the Buenos Aires Herald covered this event in the half page of its paper.

During the first part of the conference period, Mr. Oki, the ex-Environment Minister, who served as Chairman at the COP 3 in 1997, visited our exhibition booth. Kondo explained our research activities to him including the result of the global warming simulation using the Earth Simulator.


Hiroki Kondo explaining the FRCGC's activities to Mr. Oki
At the later part of the conference, Ms. Yuriko Koike, the Japanese Environment Minister, Mr. Hironori Takano, the Japanese Senior-vice Environment Minister of Japan, and Mr. Itsunori Onodera, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan visited out booth.

In the 10th Conference, the focus was put on global warming measures on and after the year 2013, recently called "post Kyoto". Due to extensive and diverse interests of participating countries with different socio-economic backgrounds, parties were unable to reach the consensus on some agenda items. Meanwhile, in the decisions adopted by COP10, the specific emphasis was raised in many fields, such as to scientifically analyzing the impact of global warming in these five years, to emphasis on research and systematic observational system, and to expanding cooperation in data and products related to climate change. In addition, it was planned to organize workshops and seminars to increase awareness and understanding on issues on global warming. In the "Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response measure", the specific emphasis were raised in many fields.They are such that development and strengthening of in-country modeling tools to assess the adverse effects of climate change and drivers of regional climate trends, enhancement of systematic observation and monitoring networks, improving the availability of General Circulation Models, and suggestion for the IPCC to incorporate region-specific modeling information on the adverse effects of climate change into its Forth Assessment Report (extracted from Buenos Aires program of work on adaptation and response measure, Decision 1/CP.10, UNFCCC, 2004). The FRCGC has completed the calculation for global warming experiments and currently summarizing its outputs. In addition, we are making progress towards developing the integrated earth system model, with which climate, ecosystem, and chemical reaction in the atmosphere can interact each other. By disseminating our research results, we would like to be part of international corporation communities to deal with global warming issues.

While there is large expectation for Japan's contribution from international communities, the FRCGC's participation in the COP 10 was a good opportunity to introduce our research activities to wide range of people.

 
Exhibition Panel