Introduction to climate services in the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)Shotaro Tanaka
Climate Prediction Division,
Japan Meteorological Agency
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is involved in a variety of climate services: observation, collection and dissemination of climate data, prediction, monitoring, and research. The Climate Prediction Division (CPD) is a crucial organization as an operational branch conducting climate monitoring and predictions: long-range forecasts, global climate monitoring, climate system monitoring, El Nino monitoring and prediction, global warming projection, and the reanalysis project. CPD has the Tokyo Climate Center (TCC), which was established in 2002. The objectives of TCC are to assist National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the Asia-Pacific region mainly in issuing seasonal forecasts and to contribute to sustainable development in the region.
JMA provides four kinds of long-range forecasts: one-month forecast, three-month outlook, warm season outlook and cold season outlook. JMA employs a dynamical method as a major long-range forecast method as well as empirical and statistical methods. The ensemble prediction system is adopted for all long-range forecasts. JMA is conducting world climate monitoring using CLIMAT and SYNOP reports and issues weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual climate monitoring reports consisting of tables, figures and descriptions of highlights. Climate system monitoring is routinely conducted based on the data produced by the preliminary Climate Data Assimilation System and satellite observation data, focusing on extratropical circulation, tropical convection and circulation, sea surface temperature (SST), snow cover, sea ice concentration, and stratospheric circulation. The El Nino Monitoring and Outlook is issued every month. In JMA, Region B equivalent to Nino 3 is used to determine El Nino and La Nina events. SST analysis data are created by the Marine Division of JMA, and other oceanographic data except for SST are created by the Ocean Data Assimilation System (ODAS) developed by JMA. JMA has conducted global warming projections based on various scenarios. This activity contributes to the scientific assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Japanese 25-year Reanalysis Project (JRA-25) has been conducted by JMA and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) since 2001. JRA-25 is planned to be finished in 2005, and the Japanese Climate Data Assimilation System (JCDAS), which is the extension of JRA-25, is supposed to start in 2006.
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