SOWER Galapagos Meeting, July 2004
Purpose of the Meeting
Last Update: March 23, 2004
The Soundings of Ozone and Water in the Equatorial Region (SOWER) is the project initiated in late 1990's.
The ozone and water vapor are greenhouse gases which are being affected both by human activities and natural factors including El Nino.
The purpose of the project is to improve our understanding on the distribution and variabilities of these gases in the tropics with the aid of radiosonde observations.
A series of ozone and water vapor sondes have been launched together with conventional radiosondes in several tropical stations such as San Cristobal (eastern Pacific), Christmas Island (central Pacific), and Watukosek (western Pacific).
The instruments are flown by rubber balloons up to the altitude of about 30 km to provide the vertical distributions of ozone and water vapor together with atmospheric pressure and temperature with high vertical resolution.
The observed data will provide unique dataset serving for the monitoring of the water vapor in the tropical stratosphere and key information indicative of the atmospheric transport processes between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
The first field campaign took place in San Cristobal, Galapagos in March to April, 1998 when the record strong El Nino in the last century was observed.
Since then, we have been making similar campaign observations in the tropics trying to understand the climatology and variabilities on the atmospheric ozone and water vapor.
In 1999, a series of ozone sondes were launched from the research vessel "Shoyo-Maru" during her cruise crossing the eastern tropical Pacific.
The observations have been extended to the stations at Bandung and Tarawa.
Collaborations are being made with the people at KNMI to make water vapor observations at Paramaribo.
- Current Status:
The conceptual view on the tropical tropopause region changed drastically due to the introduction of the idea of the Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL).
Several new hypotheses on the dehydration process in TTL have been proposed.
Satellite data are now accumulated to make it possible to discuss the long-term trend of water vapor.
A new satellite EOS/AURA will be launched in June, 2004.
A big observational campaign funded by the United States is taking place in the East Asia to support this satellite program.
We SOWER Team is also preparing an intensive campaign in the western tropical Pacific in the coming Northern winter.
- Purpose of the Meeting:
In view of the circumstances above described, we believe it will be quite timely to have detailed scientific discussion on the dehydration process in TTL with a small group but specifically concentrated environment.
We have chosen San Cristobal for such a place, since it is the very place we started our SOWER project.
Remembering the unique role Galapagos has played in history, it is also ideal since SOWER activity is also intending to provide data for the protection of earth's environment.
We hope this meeting could stimulate the research activities related to the tropical dehydration processes and stratospheric water vapor.
- Condolence on James R. Holton's death:
During the preparation of the meeting, we were shocked by the news on the sudden death of Jim Holton.
He gave us very important scientific input during the formation of our SOWER proposal.
We have been encouraged with his words since then.
He was to come to this meeting and to make a presentation about "dynamical controls on the strength of the Hadley circulation, and its relationship to the annual cycle in tropical tropopause temperature."
We can no more hear his idea.
It is a tremendous amount of loss.
To express our sincere appreciation for his contribution to SOWER, we would like to have a memorial on Sunday evening before the reception.
We would also like to propose to publish the proceedings of this meeting as a memorial to him.
I should appreciate receiving your opinion on these ideas very much.
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