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 Predicting the Future with Models

Atmospheric and Aerosol Models

Aerosol Monitoring Research Group works with other organizations builds systems to assimilate satellite data to aerosol transport models and open both the satellite data and the model results online.

URL https://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ptree/aerosol_model/index.html


▲Aerosol optical thickness, 02:00 UTC, April 5, 2019. Upper left and upper right panels show the aerosol optical thickness estimated by Himawari-8 observation data and aerosol transport model, respectively. Lower left and lower right panels are contribution of the dust aerosol and the sulfuric-acid aerosol to the total optical thickness estimated by the model, respectively.
(The model results are provided by the Meteorological Research Institute.)


Ocean Modeling

Ocean observation by satellites has both benefits and drawbacks. Major advantage is their capability to observe global area homogeneously. However, satellites cannot capture information from below the ocean surface, so they cannot track daily changing positions of ocean currents, such as the Kuroshio current that flows past Japan. To address this issue, EORC is collaborating with the ocean model community to assimilate satellite sea surface temperature (SST), obtained from GCOM-W and Himawari, into ocean model with 3-km spatial resolution. In this way, we are able to produce accurate ocean analysis and forecast data without gaps via internet in operational-basis.

URL https://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ptree/ocean_model/index.html


▲Observation of SST by Himawari at 9:00AM, May 5, 2019 JST (left); Forecast of SST by model with satellite data assimilation (center); Forecast of water temperature at depth of 100m by model (right). By coordinating satellite observations with ocean models, it is possible to estimate and forecast ocean information of underwater and regions where satellites cannot observe.
(Images produced by: JAXA/JAMSTEC)


Terrestrial Modeling

How does water circulate on Earth?
Under a joint partnership with the University of Tokyo, JAXA develops and operates Today’s Earth, a system that calculates and visualizes water circulation on land based on meteorological data gleaned from satellite observation. Our goal is to find out integrated answers to questions about the Earth’s hydrology by analyzing the information the system provides about water resources, such as the flow volumes of rivers. The data are calculated using a global lattice of squares 50km wide plus a higher-resolution grid in Japan of squares 1km wide. The information is published with risk indices included.


▲Today’s Earth portal site:
https://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/water/


Climate Modeling

When using numerical weather/climate models to represent forecasts and climate projections, processes of clouds and precipitation in particular introduce numerous uncertainties. These numerical models of weather and climate require continuous testing and evaluating by data from Earth observation satellites. For this purpose, EORC incorporates a satellite-data simulator, named as "Joint-Simulator", as a software required for advanced uses of Earth observation satellites. EORC also conducts research that assimilates data from Earth observation satellites, "NEXRA (NICAM-LETKF JAXA Research Analysis)".


▲Simulation results using NICAM (Nonhydrostatic ICosahedral Atmospheric Model) performed using JAXA's super computer (JSS2). A figure shows surface precipitation and column water vapor at 16:00 UTC, July 13, 2017.


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