Climate Change Research Program Japanese

Related Research Projects

Research Plan > Related Research Projects

(In addition to what is listed below, it may become necessary to implement supplementary research projects or terminate listed projects during the period of the five-year plan in accordance with the progress of the priority program.)

(1) Detection of historical climate change signals and attribution of their causes (Contact: T. Nozawa)

 In order to contribute to an understanding of the mechanisms of long-term climate change, we will do a comparative analysis of long-term oIbservational data and the results of 20th century climate change simulations performed by a climate model. By doing this, we can detect historical signals of long-term climate change and attempt to explain the causes. In particular, we will do the following.

a. Provide more reliable information on the anthropogenic factors that have contributed to recent climate change patterns.

b. Undertake quantitative assessment of the range of uncertainty in natural factors that contribute to climate change.

(2) Assessing the effects of climate change on small island countries in the Pacific (Contact: H. Yamano)

 Small island countries in the Pacific are considered to be extremely vulnerable to environmental variations. In addition to mapping land features and land use based on remote sensing data, we will collect and analyze information on global factors affecting the formation and conservation of the islands in order to understand the processes involved in the creation and management of land features. Using this information, we will identify potential responses to current and future changes in the environment and economic systems and propose measures for sustainable management. In particular, we will do the following.

a. Use remote sensing data to develop and implement a method for creating fundamental inventory maps showing land features, land use, and coastal environments.

b. Collect data from around the world on natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the formation and conservation of atoll island states and determine the relationship between that data and the results of our mapping projects in order to identify the most significant factors affecting the atolls.

c. Use these relationships to identify potential responses to climate change and propose measures for sustainable management of the atoll islands.

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(3) Detecting and monitoring changes in coral reefs resulting from climate change (Contact: H. Yamano)

 In recent years, a coral bleaching phenomenon has been observed, in which coral reefs discharge their symbiotic algae. Reports have surfaced from all around the world about the degradation of such reefs. The reasons for this are thought to be a combination of climate change and local stressors. In order to clarify the topographical factors that lead to coral bleaching, we will use field observational data and remote sensing from airplanes and satellites to develop an algorithm that will allow continuous, wide-area monitoring of coral reefs. In particular, we will do the following.

a. Develop simulations based on radiative transfer models and create new techniques for analyzing satellite data. Propose ways to utilize such data.

b. Consider methods and systems to make effective and complementary use of data obtained from field observation and satellites.

c. Undertake continuous, wide-area monitoring of coral reefs using existing data and satellite data that will be collected in the future.

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(4) Comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts to determine the dangerous level of global warming and to determine appropriate stabilization target of atmospheric GHG concentration (Contact: Y. Hijioka)

 We will look at various climate change mitigation strategies that are proposed for this century, with a focus on the situation around 2050. We will evaluate these strategies in order to determine potential "dangerous impacts" and when they might occur. We will consider various strategies such as stabilizing concentrations of greenhouse gases and cost-effective emission scenarios to achieve such goals in order to determine the impacts and risks that may occur as a result of implementing these strategies. In particular, we will do the following.

a. Attempt to design new methodologies and develop new theories that will help us to identify "dangerous impacts" from the perspectives of equitability, preventability, and uncertainty.

b. Develop and improve upon global impact evaluation models in the fields of agriculture, water resources, vegetation, and health. Use the results of sensitivity analysis simulations based on the hypothesis that temperature and precipitation will undergo gradual changes in the future to develop a function that will calculate field-specific impacts at the global level using country-specific changes in temperature and precipitation as explanatory variables.

c. Develop an integrated model to perform comprehensive analysis and evaluation of (1) climate change mitigation strategies such as stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, (2) cost-effective emission scenarios to achieve such goals, and (3) the impacts and risks that will result from these strategies.

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(5) A quantitative analysis of the mechanisms of soil organic carbon accumulation and an experimental evaluation of their effects on climate change (Contact: M. Uchida)

 In order to clarify the mechanisms of soil organic carbon accumulation and storage in Japanese volcanic ash soils, we are collecting data on carbon content and residence times of soil fractions using a radiocarbon tracer. We are sampling soil segments at a number of sites and are using physical and chemical fractionation methods to determine the rate of carbon decomposition in soil fractions.

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