The first CEOP-HE Steering Committee Meeting
April 16-17, 2008, Padua, Italy
The 1st CEOP-High Elevations Steering Committee Meeting, organized by the Ev-K2-CNR Committee and hosted by the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC-CNR), was convened following implementation of the High Elevations (HE) working group as new element of Regional Studies within GEWEX/CEOP Projects in early 2008.
In particular, the meeting brought together HE Steering Committee Members to discuss and define scientific HE issues and objectives in order to lay the foundations for the implementation of the HE-Scientific Plan.
Padua, Italy - Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the Italian National Research Council (ISAC-CNR)
Vladimir Aizen - University of Idaho, USA
Paolo Bonasoni - Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate – Italian National Research Council, Italy
Pierpaolo Faggi – University of Padua, Italy
Stefan Grab - University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Emanuela Manfredi - CEOP-HE Secretariat, Ev-K2-CNR Committee, Italy
Bruno Marcolongo – Institute of Applied Geology – Italian National Research Council, Italy
Annarita Mariotti - Climate Prediction Program for the Americas (CPPA) NOAA Climate Program Office, USA
Massimo Menenti –Institute for Mediterranean Agricultural and Forest Systems – Italian National Research Council, Italy
Vladimir Ryabinin, Meeting Chair – WCRP Secretariat, Switzerland
Gianni Tartari, HE Chair - Water Research Institute – Italian National Research Council, Italy
Kenichi Ueno, HE Scientific Coordinator - University of Tsukuba, Japan
Elisa Vuillermoz - CEOP-HE Secretariat, Ev-K2-CNR Committee, Italy
Note: The other Steering Committee members, René Garreaud (University of Chile, Santiago del Chile), Yaoming Ma (ITP-CSA, Beijing, China) and Axel Thomas (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany), were not able to attend, but provided their contribution to the meeting.
Meeting specific objectives were:
• a focus on contribution of each HE-SC members according self-expertises on high elevations;
• identify the main issues of HE and define their role within a global vision;
• discuss about the HE-Science Plan, to define HE’s goals and to address HE future actions to further the knowledge on water and energy cycles in high altitude areas;
• define the contribution of the HE initiative in the achievement of some specific CEOP-SIP and GEWEX Roadmap objectives;
• plan future HE actions to embark on.
Presentations by each HE Steering Committee (SC) member focused on high elevation areas (Tibet/Himalayas, regions of Central Asia, Caucasus, Trans-African Alpine Zone, North America and Western Andes Cordillera, Europe Alps) and international monitoring networks (CEOP-Reference Sites, WMO/GAW, ABC in Europe, NAME site).
SC members then discussed the HE-Science Plan, defining HE’s goal and objectives and planning future actions to address toward improving knowledge in climate sciences and furthering knowledge on the water and energy cycles in high elevation areas in order to contribute to GEWEX/CEOP Projects within WCRP.
Discussions centered on the following topics:
(a) definition of “high elevations”;
(b) identification of significant high elevations sites for the study of physical and dynamic processes to understand the regional and global climate system, and establishment of characteristics of a representative HE station;
(c) new components to be taken into account within the local and global climate and circulation system: cryospheric research (glaciers and permafrost areas), free troposphere and aerosols, monsoons, radiative forcing, link to the hydrological cycle, climate variability;
(d) methods: down-scaling and back trajectory analysis (large and regional transport), development of numerical models with complex topography, drilling of shallow and deep ice core in the field;
(e) observation data analysis: transportation of water vapor, aerosol, atmospheric compounds and mineral dust, comparisons of long-term trends in the temperature, humidity and precipitation at different high elevations with different climatic zone, HE database to collect data from existing observations
(f) establishments of a global HE monitoring network: a global analysis of current high elevations stations around the world based on FAO weather stations coverage, highlighted that operative monitoring sites at high elevations could be divided into different categories (HE-WS weather stations, HE-RS research stations and HE-ES exploratory stations) and that HE-RS are principally located in European mountains, while in other regions, like Africa, few monitoring sites are operative.
This HE kick-off meeting made it possible to identify main future directions of HE:
- create a coordinated global network of high altitude monitoring stations including but not limited to CEOP Reference Sites and promote installation of new monitoring sites in critical areas;
- investigate significant processes and mechanisms regulating the water and energy budget at high elevations and the influence of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on hydro-meteorological phenomena;
- understand how the climate and hydrological cycle at high elevations affects global climate change, including climate variability;
- define an interdisciplinary approach for the carrying out of high elevations research;
- explore synergies between meteorological-climate studies and hydrological studies in order to improve capabilities for hydroclimate forecasting at high elevations and optimize benefits to society, for example in water resources management;
In closing was also discussed the next agenda of the Steering Committee concerning the implementation of the HE Science Plan. Near-term steps include collection of inputs from each SC member in order to draw up a preliminary straw-man by the end of June, to be further re-elaborated into a max. 50-page draft by the end of August. The next CEOP Annual Meeting, which will be held on September 15-17, 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland, will be the appropriate opportunity to inform the CEOP Community of progress achieved in the implementation of the HE initiative. It will thus be fundamental to tentatively present the first draft of the HE-Science Plan in this occasion for its preliminary approval by CEOP.
Look at the presentations:
April 16: afternoon section
Welcome from WCRP and GEWEX/CEOP, V. Ryabinin
High Elevations as a new CEOP element, G. Tartari
Water and Energy Cycle Studies in the Tibet/Himalayas, K. Ueno and Y. Ma
April 17: morning session
Reference Stations for a High Elevations (HE) network, E. Vuillermoz
CEOP-HE Initiative: general aspects, E. Manfredi
The following days
On April 17-18 the University of Padua hosted the International Conference “Mountain as Early Indicators of Climate Change”, where several experts discussed the role of mountains as early indicators of climate change and the impact of global warming on mountain ecosystem services. Organizers: UNEP Vienna Office, EvK2CNR Committee, Padua University, EURAC Research.