Researcher information


Name Tomomichi KATO (given name, family name)
Phone 81-(0)45-778-5667
Fax 81-(0)45-778-5706
Personal web site [Japanese] [English]

Research Interests


(1) Development of the coupled climate - terrestrial carbon cycle model

(2) Measurement and Modeling of the carbon, heat and water dynamics in the alpine grassland ecosystem


(1) Development of the terrestrial carbon-climate cycle coupled model

Interactions between climate and the carbon cycle have the potential to provide major feedbacks on climate change, but major uncertainties in the magnitude of these feedbacks persists. To clarify those uncertaineties, the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle model (Sim-CYCLE) is combined with the CCSR/NIES GCM (including MATSIRO). The Sim-CYCLE exchanges the LAI, soil water content and soil temperature data with the AGCM through the coupler to the MATSIRO. Now our group is carrying out the attachment of the Sim-CYCLE to MATSIRO-AGCM in co-operation with the Global Environment Modeling Research Program/FRCGC.
Several climate research institutes of the foreign countries promote the coupled climate-carbon cycle model intercomparison project (C4MIP) that aims to investigate the plausible sensitivity range of the climate-carbon cycle system by using a number of independent models driven by a common set of forcings.
To join in the C4MIP, the Sim-CYCLE is required for the installation of the land use change components according to the guideline (Grand Slam Protocol; Houghton, 1983). In that protocol, as the land use changing from natural vegetation to crop land, vegetation biomass are eliminated from there and distributed to three pools that keep carbon stocks for 1, 10 and 100 yrs respectively. As the crop land is abandoned, natural vegetation will recover. This group now proceeds the cording operation for that installation.

Flux measurement system Net Primary Production (MgC/ha/yr)

(2) Measurement and Modeling of the carbon, heat and water dynamics in the alpine grassland ecosystem

We examined the CO2 exchange between the atmosphere and an alpine Kobresia meadow (lat 37.29-45 N, long 101.12-23 E, 3250 m a.s.l.) on the northeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The ecosystem CO2 flux was measured continuously using the eddy-covariance method from August 2001 (to at least Sep. 2004). The major findings from the CO2 flux measurements were as follows: (1) The maximum daily CO2 uptake (3.9 g C m-2 day-1) in this site was smaller than that in other grassland ecosystems at almost the same latitude, although the maximum LAI was larger. The 78.5 g C m-2 yr-1 annual NEP in 2002 was lower than those of warmer ecosystems, e.g. temperate and tropical grassland ecosystems, and as much as those of other cool ecosystems, e.g. alpine and boreal ecosystems. (2) The CO2 efflux in the nighttime was suppressed by soil moisture increase.
We further explored the long-term pattern of carbon dynamics in the alpine ecosystem using meteorological and biomass data available for the period from 1981 to 2000 with a simulation model of the carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems (Sim-CYCLE). The model simulation showed the following major findings. (3) The transition experiment for 1981-2000 showed that the annual NEP ranged from -70 to +70 g C m-2 yr-1 over the 20 years. (4) Increases in temperature decreased the NEP on all temporal scales, through enhancement of the heterotrophic respiration in the interannual changes. (5) The model sensitivity analysis showed that GPP, autotrophic respiration, NPP and plant biomass responded quickly and the heterotrophic respiration, litter and soil biomass responded very slowly to the climate change. The GPP was increased by temperature increases of 5C and decreased by those over 7.5C

Flux measurement system Flux Measurement System


[Publications with peer reviewers]

  1. Kato, T., Tang, Y., Gu, S., Hirota, M., Du, M., Li, Y., Zhao, X., 2006. Temperature and biomass influences on interannual changes in CO2 exchange in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Change Biology, in press.

  2. Friedlingstein, P., Cox, P., Betts, R., Bopp, L., von Bloh, W., Brovkin, V., Cadule, P., Doney, S., Eby, M., Fung, I., Govindasamy, B., John, J., Jones, C., Joos, F., Kato, T., Kawamiya, M., Knorr, W., Lindsay, K., Matthews, H. D., Raddatz, T., Rayner, P., Reick, C., Roeckner, E., Schnitzler, K.-G., Schnur, R., Strassmann, K., Weaver, A.J., Yoshikawa, C., and Zeng, N., 2006. Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis, results from the C4MIP model intercomparison, Journal of Climate, in press.

  3. Hirota, M., Tang, Y., Hu, Q., Hirata, S., Kato, T., Mo, W., Cao, G., Mariko, S., 2006. Carbon Dioxide Dynamics and Controls in a Deep-water Wetland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Ecosystems, in press.

  4. Kato, T., Kamichika, M., 2006. Determination of a crop coefficient for evapotranspiration in a sparse sorghum field. Irrigation and Drainage, 55(2), 165-175.

  5. Hirota, M., Tang, Y., Hu, Q., Kato, T., Hirata, S., Mo, W., Cao, G., Mariko, S., 2005. The potential importance of grazing to the fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane in an alpine wetland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Atmospheric Environment 39, 5255-5259.

  6. Kato, T., Hirota, M., Tang, Y., Cui, X., Li, Y., Zhao, X., Oikawa, T., 2005. Strong temperature dependence and no moss photosynthesis in winter CO2 flux for a Kobresia meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Short communication, Soil Biol. Biochem. 37(10), 1966-1969.

  7. Gu, S., Tang, Y., Cui, X., Kato, T., Du, M., Li, Y., Zhao, X., 2005. Energy exchange between the atmosphere and a meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Agric. For. Meteorol. 129(3-4), 175-185.

  8. Fang, J., Oikawa, T., Kato, T., Mo, W., Wang, Z., 2005. Biomass carbon accumulation by Japanfs forests from 1947 to 1995, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 19, GB2004, doi:10.1029/2004GB002253.

  9. Kato, T., Tang, Y., Gu, S., Hirota, M., Cui, X., Du, M., Li, Y., Zhao, X., Oikawa, T., 2004. Seasonal patterns of gross primary production and ecosystem respiration in an alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 109(D12), D12109, doi:10.1029/2003JD003951.

  10. Hirota, M., Tang, Y., Hu, Q., Hirata, S., Kato, T., Mo, W., Cao, G., Mariko, S., 2004. Methane emissions from different vegetation zones in a Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, wetland. Soil Biol. Biochem. 36(5), 737-748.

  11. Kato, T., Tang, Y., Gu, S., Cui, X., Hirota, M., Du, M., Li, Y., Zhao, X., Oikawa, T., 2004. Carbon dioxide exchange between the atmosphere and an alpine meadow ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Agric. For. Meteorol. 124(1-2), 121-134.

  12. Kato, T., Kimura, R., Kamichika, M., 2004. Estimation of Evapotranspiration, Transpiration Ratio and Water-Use Efficincy from Sparsely Vegetated Sorghum Fields using the Compartment Model. Agric. Water Manage. 65(3), 173-191.

  13. Gu, S., Du, M., Kato, T., Li, Y., Cui, X., Zhao, X., Tang, Y., 2003. Short-term variation of CO2 flux in relation to environmental controls in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 108(D21), 4670, doi:10.1029/2003JD003584.

[Proceedings of International Congress]

  1. Kato, T., Gu, S., Du, M., Li, Y., Zhao, X., Tang, Y., Oikawa, T., 2002. CO2 flux and environmental factors in an alpine grassland on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The 2nd International Workshop on Advanced Flux Network and Flux Evaluation Proccedings.

  2. Kato, T., Ushijima, Y., Otsuki, K., Kamichika, M., 2000. Estimation of the Evapotranspiration from Sparse Sorghum Fields Using the Compartment Model. Proceedings of The XIV Memorial CIGR World Congress 2000

[Other Documents]

Kawamiya, M, C. Yoshikawa, T. Kato, H. Sato, K. Sudo, S. Watanabe, T. Matsuno, 2006. Development of an Integrated Earth System Model on the Earth Simulator, Journal of Earth Simulator, 4, 18-30.

Membership in Professional Organizations

1. The Society of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan
2. The Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources
3. Ecological Society of Japan
4. Meteorological Society of Japan
5. American Geophysical Union

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. (in Sci.) 2004 Doctoral program in Biological Sciences, Universty of Tsukuba
M.S. (in Agr.) 2001 Course of Environmental Science and Forestry, Graduate School of Agriculture, Tottori University
B.A. (in Agr.) 1999 Department of agricultural engineering, Faculty of agriculture, Hokkaido University

Research and professional experience

PD researcher, Ecosystem Change Research Group, Frontier Research Center for Global Change, JAMSTEC

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