The International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) was conceived under the "U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspec≠tive" and was established October 1997 in a cooperative agreement among the University of Hawai'i, the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, and the National Space Development Agency of Japan. Located within the UH Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), the center currently operates under a cooperative agreement between the University of Hawai'i (UH) and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
IPRC's core support comes from the State of Hawai'i through UH and from our principal supporting scientific agencies: JAMSTEC in Japan, and NASA and NOAA in the US.† Financial support for our research is also provided by other government agencies in the US and international agencies. †
The IPRC welcomes private donations to support its activities.
Details about our research efforts can be found at Research, Scientific Publications, Annual Reports, and in issues of the IPRC Climate, our semiannual Newsletter.†From a small beginning, the center now has over 40 Ph.D. research scientists and an annual budget of roughly 7 million dollars.
To provide an international research environment dedicated to improving mankindís understanding of the nature and predictability of climate variability and change in the Asia-Pacific sector, and to developing innovative ways to utilize knowledge gained for the benefit of society.
Asia and the Pacific region are home to over half the worldís people, all of whom are affected by variations in the climate system on a range of timescales from intraseasonal to centennial and longer. IPRC researchers conduct modeling and diagnostic studies to document these variations and understand their causes, whether the causes are purely natural or have an anthropogenic component. Through advances in basic research IPRC supports the ultimate practical goal of improving environmental prediction for the Asia-Pacific region. One focus of IPRC investigations is understanding key phenomena rooted in the tropics such as the El NiŮo-Southern Oscillation of the ocean-atmosphere system, monsoon circulations, interannual variability in the Indian Ocean region, intraseasonal oscillations of the tropical atmosphere, and tropical cyclones. Other examples of important issues for IPRC study include the nature of decadal variability in the extratropical North Pacific Ocean, the dynamics of the very strong Kuroshio and Oyashio ocean currents in the western North Pacific and the role of marginal seas in the climate system. Concerns about human induced climate change are addressed through modeling studies of past climate and through assessment of model predictions for future trends in climate. IPRCís strength in modeling and diagnosing climate variability on various timescales fosters a particular interest in understanding how longer period climate trends may affect higher-frequency variability, including the occurrence of extreme events.
IPRC research leverages the strengths of close partners and collaborators to allow leading edge studies of some of the most important and timely issues in climate science. In particular, such collaborations allow IPRC researchers access to the state-of-the-art technology in terms of computational facilities and observational systems.
IPRC also maintains a data center making atmospheric and oceanic data of relevance to the Asia-Pacific region readily available to its own researchers, the broader climate research community, policy makers and the general public. In partnership with UH - SOEST, IPRC makes an important contribution to the international climate research enterprise through training of students and young scientists.
By virtue of its international institutional foundations, its location, its assembled expertise, and its scientific focus, the IPRC plays a uniquely valuable role in the climate research community. The JAMSTEC - UH institutional arrangements encourage, and provide stable support for, the Japan - US collaboration that is at the core of IPRCís activities. IPRCís location in the mid-Pacific significantly facilitates the practical aspects of collaborating with Japan and other Asian nations. The IPRC has assembled an international group of faculty and researchers with outstanding expertise in aspects of the meteorology and oceanography of the Asia-Pacific region. These scientists represent the largest concentration of such experts at any US university, and IPRCís explicit scientific focus on the Asian-Pacific region is also unique for a US institution. The IPRC draws on the expertise of our UH-SOEST colleagues who also generally have a Pacific focus to their research interests and expertise. The multicultural nature of society in Hawaii, the international background of the IPRC faculty, and the particular IPRC science focus all combine to make the IPRC an ideal institution for younger scientists from Asia to be exposed to, and develop lasting connections with, the US research community. In an ever more globalized scientific community the IPRC is a leader in establishing deep and long-lasting US-Asia research collaborations focusing on issues with practical importance for the people of the entire Asia-Pacific region.