HE seeks to address research activities to develop a coordinated enhanced observational study through the implementation of a high altitude monitoring network focused in particularly on CEOP reference stations over the entire highest mountain of the world.
The HE research agenda includes:
- definition of “high elevations”;
- studies of climatic characteristics at high altitude;
- individuation of high altitude mountain sites significant for the understanding of the climate system (e.g. monsoon and other circulation mechanisms, sensitivity to periodic changes like ENSO, NAO, TBO and other oscillation, sensitivity to global changes) and some of environmental issues (e.g. ecosystem fragility, pollution and hydrogeological risk exposure);
- links to climatic change with energy and water budgets and their effects on glacial areas, hydrological regime, etc;
- development of high resolution modeling of atmosphere physics and dynamics in complex topography;
- global and regional climate modeling;
- evaluations of the influence of aerosol on the hydro-geological cycle and climate.
As part of the implementation strategy, HE will also:
- collect information on data availability in existing high altitude sites;
- conduct analyses of available CEOP reference sites’ data in high elevation regions;
- initiate inter-comparison studies by analyzing at the same time different climate areas, to better understand any interaction among global, continental-regional and meso-local scales;
- develop physical/chemical models specifically for high altitude environments.
The starting point of this study is the Himalayas area where data availability and quality and modeling infrastructures are established, and due to its importance for global dynamics and climate.