Workshop on Western Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate ——Past, Present, and Future

The 11th Aoshan Forum on West Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate—Past, Present and Future was convened at QNLM during October 20-21, chaired by Academician Wu Lixin, Director of QNLM Executive Committee and Research Fellow Wang Fan, CPC Secretary of the Institute of Oceanography, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Over 80 experts home and abroad participated in the meeting, including Academician Hu Dunxin, Deputy Director of QNLM Academic Committee, Professor Martin Visbeck from German Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), Professor Cai Wenju from Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and Professor Toshio Yamagata from Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).  

The opening ceremony was chaired by Wang Fan, and the opening remarks were given respectively by Academician Wu Lixin, Academician An Zhisheng, Martin Visbeck, Dave Halpern, Toshio Yamagata and Cai Wenju. Keynote speeches on West Pacific ocean circulation and climate were made by Prof. Toshio Yamagata, Academician Wu Lixin and Prof. Martin Visbeck about the observation of ocean circulation, researches on model theory, relations between circulation and climate, as well as the latest development in the research home and abroad.

The experts had heated discussions on the research focuses and plans in the future about West Pacific circulation and ENSO. A number of proposals were raised as follows. The dynamics framework of the West Pacific boundary current should be established to reduce the errors of the existing models. More international cooperation is needed for observation and HD simulation of the western boundary current which is too challenging to be implemented by only one country. 

More opportunities are to be provided for young scientists and the next generation so as to prepare them for the researches on the West Pacific ocean circulation and climate. High on the agenda of the future tasks is hopefully the serious assessment on the existing models as to how well they can simulate the characteristics and variations of each circulation discovered so far. In addition to observations for improving the models, more large-scale ones are to be planned, such as tracer experiment to better illustrate the western boundary current and its dynamics process. In general, ocean observation is expected to be strengthened and maintained in the future plans, especially the deployment of the anchored observation system, in the researches on the West Pacific ocean circulation and climate.

West Pacific climate system is a key component of the global climate system. With the worlds largest warm pool in it, the West Pacific plays a very significant role in the subtropical high pressure belt, and the outbreaks of ENSO cycle, East Asia monsoon and South China Sea monsoon, also affecting the global climate and social life especially in East Asia area. 

In the 21st century, China’s scientists headed by Academician Hu Dunxin initiated in 2010 an international program for research and investigation on Northwest Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (NPOCE) first of its kind initiated by China, well received and joined by scientists of the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Indonesia and the Philippines. In nearly 6 years when the program was underway, dramatic progress was made in observing, understanding and numerical simulation of the West Pacific ocean circulation and climate by international academic cooperation in which China’s scientists became increasingly important in the researches of this area.