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| Checking up on climate change

The third Japan-European Union Workshop on Climate Change Research was held at the Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, Japan, in January 2005. Organised under the framework of the Japan-EU Science and Technology Forum, the workshop’s objective was to further promote closer links and collaboration in the field of climate change research.

The "Earth Simulator", which was up to September 2004 the biggest computer of the world
The "Earth Simulator", which was up to September 2004 the biggest computer of the world
Participants included researchers from European and Japanese institutions and science policy-makers from the European Commission and Japanese ministries and agencies. Of the 80 participants, 14 were from Europe – mainly coordinators of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) projects. Discussions ranged from climate research strategy, and the carbon cycle to monsoons and Global Earth Observation.

Joint statement

A significant result from the meeting was the production of a joint statement PDF icon [60 Kb] from the two principal parties, setting out the areas covered and the subjects discussed.

European progress

Nine FP6 projects were presented: ENSEMBLES, QUANTIFY, CARBOEUROPE, CARBOOCEAN, ACCENT, SCOUT-03, NEWATER, AMMA and GEMS, together with some relevant FP5 projects, giving a comprehensive and impressive image of European activities on climate change research.

Collaborative work on climate modelling research, using the Earth Simulator facility and involving the Japanese ‘Kyousei Project 1-1 (K-1)’ group and the Hadley Centre at the UK’s Meteorological Office, was welcomed and encouraged. The workshop provided a valuable forum for acknowledging the common objectives that currently exist between the Japanese climate change research programmes and the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme sub-priority on ‘Global Change and Ecosystems’. It was observed that such co-operation would help in providing concrete scientific input to the Kyoto Protocol process and post-Kyoto strategies in which both Japan and the EU are engaged.

Future research themes

Yokohama meeting, January 2005
Participants at the meeting (Yokohama, January 2005)
Emerging research themes promising future collaboration with a view to improving the detection and projection of climate change were identified, including:
  • exchanges of methodologies and data on flux and other related ecological measurements
  • development and implementation of experimental methods for conducting semi-enclosed ecosystem studies of ocean biogeochemical feedbacks in response to climate change and increased CO2
  • biogeochemical model development (both terrestrial and oceanic), including data assimilation systems and inversion modelling activities (from the carbon cycle session)
  • access to data from Japanese high-resolution global model runs for inter-comparison studies
  • early discussions between European and Japanese scientists on plans for future large-scale research projects into atmospheric changes
  • the roles of land surface properties and land use change on regional climates
  • land surface processes in monsoons
  • climate-hydrology-water resource modelling and water balance studies, with emphasis on changing hydrological regimes
  • the identification of gaps in climate ground- and ocean-based observations.

The fourth EU-Japan Workshop on Climate Change Research will be held in Europe in early 2007.

Related research themes


graphic element

Dr. Giorgios T. Amanatidis
+32 2 295 8815