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China, US to build intl climate change lab

By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao | | Updated: 2017-11-16 19:57

Top research institutions in China and the US announced Thursday their plans to build an international laboratory, aiming to give more accurate predictions on global climate change and mitigate its negative impact on human beings.

The laboratory is named the International Laboratory for High-Resolution Earth System Prediction, or iHESP, which will concentrate on the development of high-resolution and multiscale earth system predictions and simulation frameworks that provide reliable data with a regional and global scope.

It is expected to enhance climate forecasts and disaster predictions as well as better serve stakeholders and policymakers, experts said.

The facility will be jointly operated by Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, or QNLM, the US-based National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, and Texas A & M University, or TAMU. These three parties, signing the agreement in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, have led global research on climate change.

The new laboratory will have two offices, respectively in Qingdao and the Texas university town.

"Each side brings its advantages in this cooperation…and excitingly this is one example of the two countries really partnering with their expertise and benefit with each other," said Michael Benedik, vice-provost of TAMU.

In this cooperation, NCAR provided state-of-art oceanic and climate modeling with many years of experience, TAMU has expertise in regional ocean modeling, and QNLM has the fastest supercomputing capability in marine research.

"This new laboratory is going to be very critical for improving the ocean component of our modeling systems," said James Hurrell, director of NCAR.

Hurrell said this is very important because when we think about climate variability and longer-term climate change from seasonal to decadal and even longer time scales, much of the memory of the earth system and the climate system resides in the ocean.

Wu Lixin, director of QNLM's executive committee, said China has become a leading force in the world to combat climate change and it is significant for a Chinese research institution to establish a research branch like iHESP in a country with powerful research ability.

QNLM is planning to partner with the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to build a center on deep-sea research and join hands with a Russian research center on Arctic studies, Wu added.

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