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Activity Report of the National Committee for

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Teruyuki NAKAJIMA Chair of the National Committee for Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Hisashi NAKAMURA Secretary General of the National Committee for Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

T he main organization for the Japanese research community in the fields of meteorology and atmospheric sciences is the Meteorological Society of Japan (MSJ) with the current membership of nearly 4100. Until the major reorganization of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) in 2005, all the members of the National Committee for Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (the Committee, hereafter) had been appointed by the executive committee of MSJ for a term of three years. The current committee for the 20th term has been organized with members selected by a new selection rule set by SCJ under close communication with MSJ. The purpose of the committee is to review academic and research activity on meteorology and atmospheric sciences and to propose plans for activating and promoting future activity in the field. The committee also handles international affairs related to the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS).

1. General Research Activity

MSJ plays the central role in Japan in fostering meteorological research for its advance and opening up new research areas, cooperating with related academic societies and research organizations, both domestically and internationally. MSJ encourages communication among member scientists by sponsoring scientific workshops and symposia, including its semiannual general assemblies, by publishing its bulletin, international journals and research monographs, and by disseminating the latest scientific knowledge to the general public at an open symposium in every general assembly and at summer school every year. To meet the urgent need for the quick publication of important research outcomes, MSJ initiated a new online journal SOLA (Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere) in 2005. Founded in 1882, MSJ celebrates its 125th anniversary this year with the publication of a special issue of the Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan.

A trend is a large increase in research collaborations with different academic disciplines, such as biology, that used to be far from meteorology. The particular trend has accelerated under the urgent and increasing demand for deeper understanding of the earth's environmental system as a whole and its predicted future. The development of “earth system modeling” under rapidly developing computer technology, as symbolized by the advent of the Earth Simulator (ES) in 2002, exemplifies this acceleration. Under such enhancing multidisciplinary collaborations, participation in annual assemblies of Japan Geoscience Union and general assemblies of IUGG, including its XXIII assembly held in 2003 at Sapporo, Japan, has increased.

2. Recent Research Highlights

Some of the novel outcomes from our research activity, including domestic and international projects related to World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) among others, are listed below:

  • 20th-century simulations and 21st-century global warming projection experiments have been conducted on ES by using high-resolution state-of-the-art coupled general circulation models (CGCMs), including MIROC (by CCSR-NIES-FRCGC) and MRI-CGCM; these contributed to the 4th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • Non-hydrostatic cloud-resolving modeling has been advanced for regional domains and even for the global domain on ES. Ensemble forecast experiments have also been advanced, in part for contributions


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