Nagoya University Global COE Program: From Earth System Science to Basic and Clinical Environmental Studies


Clinical Environmental Studies

Northeast and East Asia

Encompassing Japan, China and Korea, the Northeast Asian region has in recent years seen rapid economic development, a vast expansion of industrial production, and an ever increasing concentration of the population in urban areas, which in turn has led to changes in the nature of agricultural production. These transformations have resulted in massive increases in resource and energy consumption, along with subsequent environmental destruction (such as atmospheric pollutants, water contaminants, heavy metals, nutrient salts, toxic chemical components, and greenhouse gases being expulsed into the environment).

The destruction is not limited to local pollution around those areas where human activities tend to be concentrated, such as urban centers, rivers, and coastal areas. Rather, problems are pan-regional, spreading via the long-distance advection of air and ocean; prominent examples include acid rain and the so-called Asian Dust phenomena. Moreover, increases in greenhouse gas and aerosol emission levels are having a significant effect on the meteorological systems of the Asian Monsoon region as well as those affecting the entire globe. The expansion of human activity has combined with these globally-felt meteorological changes to exert tangible effects on ecosystems in the forests and plains of Siberia, Mongolia and Central Asia.

The Northeast and East Asia research group examines the issues facing the region today, making use of the body of research findings and knowledge built up thus far to enhance scientific understanding of the phenomena at the root of these problems, whilst simultaneously developing methods to tackle and solve those same problems. Furthermore, the group will attempt to establish an organised platform for shared international awareness of the current state of relevant policy. Equally, the group will develop various international joint research projects, bettering understanding of this discipline in the process; these projects will also allow the group to consider what technology, systems and policy are necessary in order to effectively resolve environmental problems in Northeastern Asia. Specifically, the following projects will be implemented:

  1. Joint research projects to establish shared understanding and awareness of the entire Northeast Asian region
    Establish a network of existing research findings and current joint research projects on environmental problems in Northeast Asia, including Japan and China, from business project managers. Systematically review research findings with a view to establishing the construction of Clinical Environmental Studies, and consider ways to further develop those findings.
  2. Hold workshops
    Hold workshops for international researchers, with a focus on Japan and China, to consider the research themes outlined above. Organize and share the knowledge that currently exists on research themes, and collate into publications.
  3. Hold Summer Schools
    Designed with the needs of young researchers in mind, principally doctoral students, from Japan, China and other North East Asian countries. Publications resulting from the international workshops outlined in (2) will be used as instructional texts. Field studies based on these publications will also be carried out.
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