About MEXT-Program for the Advanced Studies of Climate Change Projection (SENTAN)
Across the planet, there have been numerous extreme weather events and disasters in recent years, and their frequency and severity are projected to increase under climate change. Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis) concluded that it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the Earth. The report, released in August 2021, is more categorical than its predecessors and highlights the urgent need to address climate change globally and collaboratively. It is therefore important that Japan contributes actively to international efforts, such as the upcoming Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) cycle and the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, and advance the field of climate change science and technology.
In Japan, various legislations, plans, and activities related to climate change have been put into place. These include the Climate Change Adaptation Act, which came into force in 2018 and diverse practical measures taken by municipalities and private companies. The importance of scientific information as a basis for decision-making is growing; for example there is increasing demand for science-based predictions to support activity planning. However, the practical application of climate change research has remained limited because prediction accuracy and data usability and availability are insufficient to meet the high demand of users. Climate change research needs to be adapted to provide information that can meet the needs of the society.
Thus, in this program, we build on and expand the Integrated Research Program for Advancing Climate Models (2017-2021 FY), and collaborate closely on four study themes under a unified research framework. We aim to improve our understanding of climate change mechanisms, reduce uncertainties, and create highly accurate climate change projections that can be used as the scientific basis for the development of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Our goal is to conduct application-oriented research to meet the needs of different users and contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society.
for Environmental Studies
Humankind is trying to take a major step toward the realization of a decarbonized, recycling-based society to address climate change, which the IPCC has determined to be unequivocally caused by human activities. On numerous occasions, national leaders have demonstrated their unwavering determination for change and have referred to the 10 years leading up to 2030 as the decisive decade. There is no doubt that increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations will result in a mean global temperature rise, but what are the regional and seasonal changes and natural disaster risks? In many cases, it is not self-evident about what measures should be taken by the different sectors of the society and to which extent and by when measures should be taken. We are aware that scientific evidence forms the basis for humankind’s major decisions on climate change. Therefore, detailed scientific knowledge of various aspects of climate change and especially climate change projections and evidence are much needed to ensure the success of major decisions and changes. We will make every effort to implement the advanced climate change projection program that has been entrusted to us. Many aspects of the natural climate system remain unknown, which makes understanding the behavior of the climate system under anthropogenic forcing a formidable task. We will communicate our research results to the general public and provide quantitative estimates of the uncertainties as far as possible despite the challenges of translating science into plain language and the limitations of scientific research in providing answers to all our questions. We would like to contribute toward supporting decisive actions to address climate change at individual and collective levels. The research groups that are involved in this program have been working on the promotion of climate change science in Japan for more than 20 years, but to widen the scope of our research, we intend to collaborate with researchers in related disciplines in and outside Japan and engage in stakeholder dialogues. We look forward to receiving your honest opinion and encouragement.
The University of Tokyo
Professor and Director