Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

ArCS Blog

PAME II-2018 meeting was held in Vladivostok, Russia, on October 1~4 including pre-meeting of expert groups. 55 participants from Arctic Council Member States, Permanent Participants and Observers and invited experts were gathered in the meeting. The meeting aims at updating activities of ongoing projects, preparing activity plan of continued projects, and discussing new project proposals for 2019-2021 PAME Work Plan, which will be adopted under a new chairmanship by Iceland from the next Ministerial Meeting on May 2019.

In spite of global warming, northern midlatitudes, over central Eurasia in particular, have frequently experienced severe winter in recent decades (Fig.1a). Remote influence from the Arctic sea-ice loss (Fig. 1c) on the Eurasian cooling has been suggested, but significance of this counterintuitive climatic impact of the sea-ice loss is still under debate due to discrepancy among modelling and observational studies.

I visited the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Germany from October 16-November 30, 2018 through the support from ArCS program for overseas visits by young researchers. I belong to the Atmosphere and Ocean System Laboratory at Niigata University and I am studying the variation of the tropopause, which is the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. It has been suggested that the tropopause is an indicator of climate change and captures the global warming trend. On the other hand, it is well known that warming in the Arctic region is progressing considerably faster than the global average. During my visit, I aimed to clarify the actual condition of the tropopause variability in the Arctic region and its relationship to global warming and other internal fluctuations.

I participated in the AGU Fall Meeting 2018 held in Washington D.C. from 10-14 Dec 2018. During this meeting, I gave a poster presentation and participated in the oral sessions. I spent my free time visiting the sponsors’ exhibitions and sightseeing around the Washington D.C. area.

Kobe University Polar Cooperation Research Centre (PCRC) held its fourth international symposium “International Law for Sustainability in Arctic Resource Development” on 17-18 December 2018. PCRC was established in order to promote research on Arctic international legal and policy issues in October 2015. PCRC held its kick-off symposium overviewing the present status of the Arctic legal order-making in December 2015, the second symposium focusing on legal order-making in the Arctic Ocean in July 2016, and the third focused on the role of non-arctic states / actors in the Arctic legal order-making.

If we use the numerical model, it has possibility that we can understand the control mechanism of phenomena of interest. The Arctic region is a complex field where the atmosphere-ocean-sea ice interactions exist. Numerical model helps us to understand what process is important. This is the one of the advantage of using the numerical model. As a matter of course, the model needs to reproduce the reality well. Also, the model has characteristics, called bias. For example, if we use a model where the ground surface temperature tends to be higher than the reality, the amount of snow will be less in simulation. Even if this simulated result corresponds well with realistic, this result is not good. Recognizing the characteristics of the model and confirming that the model successfully captures the reality is the first step in model research. However, in the Arctic region, it is difficult to obtain the local data and then these evaluations are not easy. It shows the difficulty of investigating the Arctic from the viewpoint of numerical model.

Last month, I stayed in the charming city of Tromsø in northern Norway for about two weeks to participate and give a presentation at the Eleventh Polar Law Symposium. Of course, it was also an opportunity to visit and conduct research on the Arctic Council Secretariat (ACS), which is at the heart of my research.