Research programs

Climate Change Adaptation Research Program

Program leader: Dr. HIJIOKA Yasuaki

This research program aims to identify and project climate change impacts, evaluate adaptation measures, and analyze effective adaptation strategies based on scientific evidence, in various areas, including ecosystems, air and water quality, and health issues such as heat stress, to promote key adaptation policies. Through these research activities, the program supports assessing climate change impacts, revising the National Adaptation Plan, and promoting adaptation policies by the national government. In addition, we also support municipalities and the private sector in formulating and implementing their adaptation measures. In addition, the program integrates relevant research fields and serves as a comprehensive research hub on climate change adaptation to aid a broad range of adaptation initiatives being executed in Japan and abroad. The findings from this research program will be made public on the Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform (A-PLAT) and the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform (AP-PLAT).

Climate Change Adaptation Research Program Annual Plan
Research Activities
PJ1 Detection and mechanisms of climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine communities Analysis of historical data, establishment of experimental system Analysis of impact mechanisms, improvement of analysis methods Compilation and mapping of results
Impacts on ecosystem functions and processes in lakes, watersheds, and coastal ecosystems Methodological study Field analysis, statistical analysis Inter-regional comparison, compilation of results
Understanding the impacts of heat and air pollution on health risks and rice Methodology study, experimental condition study Impact detection analysis, experimental verification Summary of results
PJ2 Advancement of climate scenarios Publication Technology development (for next generation) Creation
Advancement of national impact assessment models Development and extension Analysis and application (for 2025 Impact Assessment Report) Next generation model development and extension
Advancement of the global impact assessment model Analysis and application (compatible with ISIMIP3) Next model development and extension
PJ3 Intersectoral and international analysis of climate change impacts and adaptation Methodology study Model development Evaluation trial Model improvement Analysis
Enhancing climate change adaptation through natural ecosystems Conceptualization Extraction of adaptation measures EbA study Implementation study Analysis
Analysis of the challenges in promoting local climate change adaptation Information gathering KPI study Participatory study Analysis of plans Analysis

Program structure

This research program consists of the following three projects (PJs).

Research on evaluation and clarification of effects and mechanisms of climate change (PJ1)

Project leader: Dr. NISHIHIRO Jun

This project aims to elucidate the effects of climate change on terrestrial, inland water, and coastal ecosystems, bay environments, and health issues including heat stress using observation data in selected target areas. It also provides valuable information on the development and implementation of adaptation measures. Specifically, the teams observe and collect past and present data to elucidate how its condition has changed over time and the mechanism of climate change impacts by employing novel experimental methods and statistical analysis. The teams also distinguish impacts of climate change from other human-induced effects and elucidate the interactions between climate change and human impacts. The goal is to detect the impacts of climate change with high precision while pursuing knowledge that can be used to improve future projection models and examine adaptation measures. Although the target areas are mainly located in Japan, it does cover other parts of Asia on particular subjects such as mangrove and coral reef ecosystems and health issues.

Information on climate change impacts detected through these activities and monitoring data useful for detecting climate change impacts will be made public through A-PLAT and AP-PLAT to contribute to the planning and promotion of adaptation measures in a wide area and region.

Sub-projects in PJ1

PJ1-2a Elucidation of the combined effects of climate change and air pollution on paddy rice production and health in Asia AONO Mitsuko
PJ1-2b Mangrove functions for climate change adaptation: biological responses of mangrove plants to climate change INOUE Tomomi
PJ1-3a Monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems for the detection of climate change impacts TAKEUCHI Yayoi
PJ1-3b Uncovering climate change impacts on lake ecosystems and the underlying processes KADOYA Taku
PJ1-3c Studies on patterns and mechanisms of climate induced changes in corals and macroalgal communities KUMAGAI Naoki
PJ1-3d Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on the Pelagic and Benthic Ecosystems in Coastal and Semi-Enclosed Sea KOSHIKAWA Hiroshi
PJ1-3e Study of observational information on climate change in health and energy sectors OKA Kazutaka
PJ1-4 Ecosystem monitoring for climate change adaptation at watershed scale NISHIHIRO Jun

Research on Advancement of Climate Change Impact Assessment Methodology (PJ2)

Project leader: Dr. HANASAKI Naota

This project advances projection methods of climate change impacts in multiple sectors, globally, Asia-Pacific, and Japan. We assess climate change impacts based on the latest climate scenarios and socio-economic scenarios. The project also evaluates the difference in resulting impact under scenarios with and without adaptation measures. Specifically, the project team uses different climate change scenarios to assess the future impacts of climate change on various areas of interest (e.g., water resources, land ecosystems, crop yields, human health), covering from municipality to Asian or global scales. While reviewing the outcomes of the PJ1, including monitoring data and impact mechanism information as a reference, the project team conducts advanced evaluations of climate change impact that take into account not only changes in temperature but also precipitation, sea levels, ocean acidification, and other climatic factors as well as the impact of socio-economic changes.

Through these activities, the project team aids the advancement of climate change impact evaluation methods and also the formulation of adaptation measures, including specification of geographic areas that should be prioritized. The climate scenarios and the impact evaluation results the team develops are published on A-PLAT and AP-PLAT to improve understanding of climate change risks in society.

Sub-projects in PJ2

PJ2-0 Development of climate, air quality, and socio-economic scenarios for impact assessment of climate change ISHIZAKI Noriko
PJ2-1 Development and application of global scale sector-wise climate change impact assessment models OKADA Masashi
PJ2-2a Assessment of adaptation measures for the combined impacts of climate change and air pollution on rice production and health in Asia MASUTOMI Yuji
PJ2-2b Mangrove functions for climate change adaptation: projections and hazard assessments on storm surge and sea level rise INOUE Tomomi
PJ2-2c Climate change impact monitoring and adaptation assessment in grasslands WANG Qinxue
PJ2-3a Projection of climate change impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and ecosystem service levels in terrestrial ecosystems KOIDE Dai
PJ2-3b Projection of climate change impacts on lake environments KOZU Ayato
PJ2-3c Improvement of prediction of changes in the distribution of coral and algal communities due to climate change KUMAGAI Naoki
PJ2-3d Climate change impact prediction and adaptation for water environment in coastal and semi-enclosed seas HIGASHI Hironori
PJ2-3e Climate change impact assessment in health and energy sectors OKA Kazutaka
PJ2-3f Advancement of methods for predicting and assessing changes in the distribution of biological species due to climate change ISHIZAKI Noriko
PJ2-4 Assessment of climate change adaptation effectiveness through ecosystem-based management at a watershed scale HAYASHI Seiji

Research to enhance adaptation strategies and practices based on scientific projections (PJ3)

Project leader: Dr. MASAGO Yoshifumi

In collaboration with PJ1 and PJ2, this project clarifies the gaps and challenges among climate change impact projections, adaptation plans, and adaptation actions and develops models and methods for improving them. Specifically, we will develop an adaptation pathway analysis method that can answer the question, "Which adaptation measures need to be started by when? We collaborate closely with other relevant research projects to enrich the climate change impact and adaptation information. We also analyze the interactions among adaptation measures (synergies, trade-offs, competition for resources, etc.), the relevant legal systems, the gap between adaptation planning and actions, and other factors that impede the effective implementation of adaptation measures. This project also analyzes the impacts of domestic and global climate change on Japan's national security and economy (international trade, etc.).

IWe contribute to formulating adaptation strategies that make more effective use of scientific knowledge through these efforts. We also promote the formulation and effective implementation of adaptation plans and measures at the national and local levels in Japan and abroad by providing scientific knowledge and systems through A-PLAT and AP-PLAT.

Sub-projects in PJ3

PJ3-1 Intersectoral and international analysis of climate change impacts and adaptation MASAGO Yoshifumi
PJ3-2 Enhancing climate change adaptation through natural ecosystems YAMANO Hiroya
PJ3-3 Analysis of the challenges in promoting local climate change adaptation FUJITA Tomohiro