|Earth is the only planet in the solar system that supports
life. Under perfect natural conditions, the Earth’s water, atmosphere,
climate, and ecosystems benefit us in various ways.
On the other hand, natural phenomena such as El Niño can bring
severely unusual weather to the entire globe. As humans, we are vulnerable
to even small changes in climate.
It is now widely recognized that the accumulation of anthropogenic
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will affect the natural energy
balance and may cause global warming and climate change. The first
step towards mitigating this possible climate change was taken just
after the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3), held in Kyoto, at the
end of 1997. The World Summit on Sustainable Development, or the “Johannesburg
Summit,” held in September 2002 in the Republic of South Africa, reconfirmed
that we must protect natural ecosystems in order to enhance our standard
of living. We must therefore study natural global events to understand
their mechanisms and to predict changes.
The Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) aims to contribute
to society by elucidating the mechanisms of various global events
and thereby enabling their prediction. However, because of the complexity
of the processes involved, it is not easy to predict global changes.
By considering the Earth as a single system, the FRCGC will examine
the complex interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, and land, and
develop models that incorporate these elements. Through process research
and modeling and the eventual development of an integrated earth system
model, the FRCGC will promote reliable prediction of various phenomena