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 History

April, 1957
Established as the Water Quality Science Research Facility, Faculty of Science, Nagoya University
September, 1973
The Institute for Hydrospheric Sciences, Nagoya University
April, 1993
The Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences (IHAS), Nagoya University
April, 2001
Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center (HyARC), Nagoya University

 Overview


 Water is essential for life. It circulates on earth, and even small fluctuations of the water cycle may cause serious problems on human life. The fluctuation, viz. temporal and spatial distributional variation of water, results from multiple factors at different time and spatial scales. These include natural factors as well from human induced changes on the earth system. The complex nature of the multi-scale temporal and spatial variability of the water cycles makes its understanding and prediction difficult. It is therfore desirable, to overcome this difficulty, to conduct integrated studies of various aspects, such as physics, biology and chemistry and/or air, land and oceans, on the structure and variability of the multi-scale water cycles as parts of a whole water cycle system in the earth system.

 The Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences (IHAS) has been established 1 April 1993 to conduct integrated studies on the structure and dynamics of the hydrosphere and atmosphere aiming at undestanding the relationship of processes in water and material cycles in a changing earth environment. IHAS had been appreciated by its important contribution in the coordination of national and international joint research projects on earth enbironmental studies. During the 8-years history of IHAS the global warming and connected environmental changes became an urgent societal issue, and hense serious discussion on the future research strategy has been made in the IHAS.

 The conclusion was to bifurcate activities of IHAS. First to concentrate on the intensive integarated research of the water cycle which is to be conducted by a nation-wide collaborative Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research Center, HyARC. Second to disseminate achievements of the Science of Hydrosphere and Atmosphere acquired at IHAS. Third to conduct multidisciplinary studies on "Environmentology" in collaboration with researchers with broad background of scienc, technology and humanities. The conclusion was materialized with the joint efforts of many people in Nagoya University, the Government of Japan and the Scientific Societies who supported the idea.

 HyARC designed to be a national core research center to facilitate national and international interdisciplinary cooperative studies on the global water cycles in order to reveal the multi-scale structures of the water cycle and understand its variability.

 HyARC comprises of two research divisions according to the time and spatial scales of the water cycles of interest. The division for Regional-Scale Water Cycle Processes conducts observational research fot the variousprocesses in the water cycles as well as development of numerical models.

 The division for Global-Scale Water Cycle Variations conducts analysis of time-series data on vatiability of water cycle systems to develop numerical models. The target time scale ranges from seasonal to decades, and spatial scale from an observational site to ASia-West Pcific regions. HyARC puts emphasis on biological activities on land and in the oceans. The biological activities, maintained by water cycles, are invariably associated with material exchange between the cells abd environments, and this is why the biota is situating at the crossover point of the water and material cycles. Biology is considered to play key roles in large scale and long-term variability of the water cycle systems, but little is yet known. This would be one of the challenges of the HyARC.