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Application Laboratory

The Role of APL

The APL was launched as a small virtual laboratory a decade ago but over the years it has evolved enormously to establish itself as a leading laboratory in the Strategic Research and Development Area of JAMSTEC. In these years, APL has developed sophisticated simulation and prediction technologies to contribute to the goals of the five-year mid-term plans of JAMSTEC. It will continue to play an important role in achieving present and future mid-term goals keeping abreast of the latest research developments in the world and innovating applications for societal benefits.

The modern ocean and earth sciences could not have been developed without strong connection to the society and the industrial world. This sets them apart from pure science endeavors such as understanding the birth of the universe, discovering ultimate elementary particles and identifying the meaning of the anthropic principle. The physical oceanography, meteorology and seismology are among the oldest areas of earth sciences. Each of them was established in order to contribute to the society by understanding those phenomena that cause disasters like tsunamis, typhoons and earthquakes.

The ocean and earth sciences need to contribute to sustainable well-being of both humankind and ecosystem on our planet. This means that the applied ocean and climate research developments, which should be implemented in mutually enlightening manners with the society, are indispensable in addition to the basic research activities for understanding of the underlying processes. In this regard "prediction of our ocean and climate systems" will be important for developing prudent societal applications. As underscored by the initiatives of the “World Climate Research Program (WCRP)” and the “Future Earth”, the society is looking forward to our contributions to realize a prosperous future with a satisfactory level of prediction skill. Furthermore, experiences from the disasters like the 3/11 Great East Japan Earthquake and recent typhoons that flooded northern parts of Japan have prompted us to understand the need of exchanging information interactively with the society for developing collective wisdom. Therefore, to harness the hidden benefits from our ensemble model predictions, APL aims to develop smart application systems by taking advantage of the cutting-edge information science involving Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Communication Technologies. We believe that this philosophy is consistent with the Science and Technology Basic Plan of the Cabinet Office and will lead us to the goals of realizing the Society 5.

The new APL consists of two groups namely "Climate Variability Prediction and Application Research Group" and "Environmental Variability Prediction and Application Research Group". The latter group mostly focuses on the development of research and applications for oceans and the former on the climate based on the understanding that both are very important components in the sustainable evolution of our society. We in APL will continue to evolve together with our international partners keeping the legacy of our former director, Dr. Toshio Yamagata, with new discoveries and research innovations in the realm of earth environment, and beyond.

Swadhin Behera Director, Application Laboratory
April 3, 2017
Swadhin Behera
Director, Application Laboratory