About the Study Program for Greater Sophistication of Integrated Climate Model
In recent years the international community has achieved significant developments with respect to climate change measures. In December 2015, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was held and the Paris Agreement, which then came into force on 4 November 2016, was adopted and with the aims of keeping the average global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, while also the pursuit of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius at the same time, and strengthening the ability of countries to deal with the impact of any climate change. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in September 2015 at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, stipulates climate change measures to be one of 17 goals that need to be achieved by 2030. In addition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which assesses the most recent scientific information, has commenced upon the preparation of the Sixth Assessment Report.
Meanwhile, climate change measures are also being developed in Japan as well. The Japanese government approved a “National Plan for Adaptation to the Impact of Climate Change” in a Cabinet meeting held in November 2015 in thereby minimizing or avoiding the impact of climate change and establishing a sustainable society. In response to these types of increased interest in the need for climate change measures both at home and abroad studying climate change predictions, which utilize state-of-the-art science and technology, is essential in both foreseeing the future and developing effective measures. In addition, it is politically important to Japan to improve its presence in climate-change diplomacy and to consistently contribute to domestic climate change measures via use of those technologies.
With the aims of further advancing climate change studies and then utilizing the results for the good of society the Ministry intends to create an integrated study system with four cooperative study area themes via expansive use of the results of the Program for Risk Information on Climate Change (2012-2016), address the need for greater elucidation of climate change mechanisms, increase the sophistication of climate change prediction models and assessment of the impact of climate change, and challenge ourselves to develop sophisticated climate change prediction data sets.
Project Professor, Integrated Research
System for Sustainability Science,
The University of Tokyo
Heavy rainfall of over 50mm of hourly precipitation, for example the heavy rainfall in the Northern Kyushu region in July 2017, has been observed in various areas throughout Japan. The prediction of the climate model that, “As global warming progresses, heavy rainfall will increase”, seems to becoming a reality. As stated in the Sustainable Development Goals（SDGs）adopted at the United Nations Conference held in 2015 we now need to address the global warming issue together with other goals in a comprehensive manner rather than independently. In a similar fashion in Japan the authorities concerned will need to closely cooperate with each other in promoting the necessary measures to take with regard to adapting to climate changes. Addressing the impact of uncertain climate changes in the appropriate manner therefore makes improving scientific knowledge on global warming essential.
Understanding and predicting climate change using climate models is an important field that can provide valuable scientific knowledge on global warming. While developing the Earth Simulator, which had a positive global impression, Japan has been constantly improving our understanding of climate change and enabling more sophisticated global arming predictions through use of that simulator. This movement then led to the launch of the Study Program for Sophistication of Integrated Climate Model in 2017 for a planned period of five years and with the aim of further development of climate models.
Development of the Earth Simulator resulted in a remarkable increase in our scientific knowledge on global warming predictions. Natural fluctuations are an essential factor in climate change. A new method of calculating the impact of global warming on climate change was developed and the means of addressing physical mechanisms that affect the climate, for example clouds, significantly improved. For example, a climate model that represents clouds graphically is now being utilized in various ways such as assessing the impact on industry and the ecosystem.
This program aims to further develop climate models and to reflect the knowledge gained through them in the adaptation plans of actual regions in coordination with socioeconomic scenarios. A sincere effort to respond to the questions that society needs answers for in this process will open the door to a new type of science. We appreciate your continued support and encouragement.
Vice Director and Professor,
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo
The University of Tokyo
Vice President, National Institute
for Environmental Studies