The Maritime Continent (MC) and adjacent seas are often referred as a heat engine of the entire globe, as they are source of the atmospheric upward motion of the Walker and Hadley circulations. The MC is located in the warm pool region with the highest sea surface temperatures and is characterized with complicated topography with high mountains and surrounding shallow waters which produce complicated local circulations.
Thus, the interaction among ocean, land, and atmosphere plays a critical role in regulating the phenomena observed over this region such as monsoon, Madden-Julian Oscillation, and Indian Ocean Dipole. In addition, interaction between local circulation and large-scale disturbances sometimes causes severe weather condition such as heavy rainfall accompanied with flood. To better understand the role of MC and its adjacent seas in the global climate, we have established a new research department "DCOP" in JAMSTEC. DCOP conducts observational research on these phenomena from the viewpoint of ocean-atmosphere-land interactions.
Director, Department of Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Land Processes Research