AOGS Election of Office Bearers - 2008 to 2010
Atmospheric Science (AS) Section President
Professor Department of Geophysics,
Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
The last century was the century of revolution in Earth sciences. In the atmospheric sciences, for example, satellite observations have brought global images of coexistence and interaction of weather systems, and computer simulations of the atmospheric circulation have enabled numerical prediction of weather and climate. Now at the beginning of the 21st century, global warming and climate change issues are attracting much attention of the public. It becomes gradually recognized that the risk of high-impact weather is potentially increasing in association with global warming and/or economical development. It will be an important task for the atmospheric researchers to give the scientific bases on the issues and the prospects of the future change.
Asia and Oceania is the key region for such contemporary atmospheric sciences. The differential heating between the Indian subcontinent (+ the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau) and the adjacent Indian Ocean primarily causes the Asian Monsoons, changing in sense from summer to winter. Organized cumulus convections in the tropics, with interactions with oceans, produce the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) in an intra-seasonal time scale, while the MJO is an important component of stochastic forcing of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that controls much of the world’s weather and climate from intra-seasonal to inter-annual time scales. Since such phenomena evolve and interact on a variety of space and time scales, a new interdisciplinary approach based on optimal inter-related areas of the atmospheric sciences and physical oceanography is required.
Recent advances in electronic engineering have much influenced field observations, remote sensing from ground or space/aircraft, and laboratory experiments to bring new findings in the atmospheric sciences, while those in computational technology have promoted the advancement in data analyses and numerical experiments to obtain deeper understandings. Rapid growth of computer power and internet infrastructure is changing the style of scientific research. For example, climateprediction.net (http://climateprediction.net/) is the largest distributed computing project with a state-of-the-art general circulation model to study climate change in the 21st century, with over 108,000 participants from 188 countries (as of February, 2007).
Under these circumstances, the role of the Atmospheric Science Section of AOGS is very important to promote the atmospheric sciences and public benefits for Asia and Oceania, where much of the Earth's dynamic activities are focused in. The challenge is to improve our understanding of the complex processes within the atmosphere and obtain new perspectives on the individual components. In addition to the atmospheric science as a basic science, applied parts for environmental studies and for prevention and mitigation of meteorological disasters are also important, in a wider sense, to the sustainable coexistence of human beings on the Earth. I will contribute to the promotion of the atmospheric sciences in Asia and Oceania as the section president.