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Brussels, 19 March 1999
Climate Prediction: Outcome of the first EU-Japan workshop on Climate Change
Keywords: EU-Japan scientific cooperation, climate change
The EU can boast world-leading research groups in climate modelling and prediction research. In a few years time, however, their Japanese counterparts may be revolutionising climate research with the "Earth Simulator", a super-super computer that will outperform current computers a thousand times. With this background, the first EU-Japan workshop and symposium on climate change was held in Hakone and Tokyo, Japan, 2-5 March 1999 for the world leaders in climate change research to benefit from each others' experience and to increase cooperation. Key recommendations were identified, amongst which is the need to increase climate-computing capacity in Europe.
The symposium was held in Tokyo at the Tokyo International Forum on March 5th. It was opened by Mr. Uchida, Director General of NASDA (National Space Development Agency, Japan) and by A. Ghazi, Head of Biodiversity and Global Change Unit DG XII, European Commission. The discussions at the Hakone workshop underlined the existence of areas where the expertise in climate change research in the EU and Japan is complementary. Enhanced collaboration would therefore be of mutual benefit. The more specific recommendations presented at the symposium were:
- There is an increasing gap between available super-computer resources and those necessary for adequately addressing current scientific issues and concerns in climate research. In particular, there are urgent needs for a considerable increase in model resolution, for ensemble calculations and for significant improvement of model physics and the inclusion of appropriate biological and chemical processes.
- The opportunities offered by the Earth Simulator and the concurrent funding possibilities offered under the EU "Environment and Sustainable Development Programme" can be seen as promising incentives to improve the situation both individually and as a basis for cooperative EU-Japan research activities. Considering these developments, it was recommended that specific joint projects should be considered, including high-resolution and regional climate change simulations to reduce uncertainties and improve impact assessments.
- Cooperative initiatives in the area of data analysis and data assimilation would be important. A special recommendation is to develop data assimilation activities using both remote and in-situ observations vigorously, including surface and subsurface ocean data.
- In view of the rapid increase of observational data by the ongoing and future space and ocean observation programmes it was recognised that the Indian Ocean is currently a gap in the global observing system. A common interest EU and Japan have is to contribute towards the development of the observing system. Therefore, it was recommended to develop common initiatives in this field.
- It was stated that continued collaboration between scientists in EU and Japan on specific topics and actual projects is important. The establishing of an EU-Japan Working Group as a focal point to ensure continuation of the scientific collaboration was recommended.
In the Fifth Framework Programme for research and technological development, climate research is part of the thematic programme "Energy, Environment and Sustainable development".
For further information, please contact:
Scientific officer, DG XII
Fax: + 32 2 296 30 24
Press Officer, DG XII
Fax: + 32 2 295 82 20
The Earth Simulator initiative is an ambitious project addressing seriously the increasing need for supercomputing power for climate research. In Europe we have no matching project and European researchers may see themselves marginalised some years from now if nothing is done. The need has also earlier been identified by the EC funded EuroCLIVAR concerted action. In the recommendations from EuroCLIVAR is stated:A European Climate Computing Facility should be established. This facility could be hosted by an existing national or European centre or by a network of such centres. The facility should provide computing resources and access, and allow for climate modelling and research not possible at existing centres.
The EC Fifth Framework Programme offers support to research infrastructures and EU teams will certainly submit proposals for climate computing facilities. It is clear, however, that the European Climate Research centres also urgently need to consider higher levels of cooperation and to explore all avenues to meet the Earth Simulator challenge.
PRESS RELEASES | PRESS RELEASES OF 1999 | 10.02.2000