Press Release


The second Research Announcement on GOSAT

April 7, 2009 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
National Institute for Environment Studies (NIES)
Ministry of the Environment (MOE)

The Fourth Assessment Report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 states that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic Green House Gas (GHG) concentrations. The drastic increase in the concentration of GHGs, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), caused directly and indirectly by human activities, is attributed to the fact that the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere in the process of the mass consumption of fossil fuel, deforestation, etc., significantly surpasses the absorption by the land ecosystem and the oceans. Thus, it is imperative to balance the emission due to human activities and the absorption by the nature, in order to stabilize the climate for the future. In the meantime, however, we, humans, have not grasped, to a sufficient level, the mechanisms of the absorption by land ecosystem and ocean, and the climatological feedback in the carbon cycle involving atmosphere, land ecosystem and ocean. This lack of understanding comprises a substantial part of the uncertainty in predicting future climate change.

The clarification of these problems involves not only an ascertainment of the spatial and temporal variations in the CO2 emission from human activities but also a calculation of the spatial distribution and temporal variation of CO2 and also methane (CH4), which is the second largest contributor to global warming after CO2, and the spatial distribution and temporal variation of the source and sink in land ecosystem and oceans, based on earth observation, and ultimately an attainment of adequate scientific knowledge on the underlying mechanisms. These efforts to observe GHG concentrations and to analyze the causes of their variations at some locations are, though still limited, in progress. On top of these attempts, it is vital to observe the distributions of CO2, CH4, and other GHG concentrations, which fluctuate both spatially and temporally, on the global scale, using satellite platforms, in a continuous and systematic manner, and to elucidate the current issues, with a goal to elevate the reliability of prediction of future climate change and climate system models effective for assessing the consequences of climate change.

Aiming for fulfilling the above requirements, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) (hereinafter referred to as the "Three Parties" collectively) have started the GOSAT (Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite) Project. The Three Parties shall make the second announcement on an opportunity for research using the data acquired by the Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation (TANSO) sensor on board GOSAT on April 7, 2009.

This second research announcement (hereinafter referred to as RA) is initiated for soliciting proposals on advanced research using actual data acquired by GOSAT, which was successfully launched on January 23, 2009. The details of the RA are provided in the following RA documents. Note that the RA Office is set up inside NIES.

RA Document : GOSAT Research Announcement (main text)
Appendix A : Outlines of GOSAT and TANSO Sensor
Appendix B : GOSAT/TANSO Calibration and Validation Plan and Overview of Processing Algorithms
Appendix C : Operation Policies of GOSAT and Basic Observation Plan of the TANSO Sensor
Appendix D : Contents of Research Proposal and Application Form
Appendix E : General Contractual Conditions for the Joint Research on the GOSAT data
Appendix F : User Category, Glossary and Abbreviation List

Schedule for the 2nd RA (Current RA)
Launch of GOSAT January 23, 2009
Release of RA April 7, 2009
Deadline for submission of proposals June 1, 2009 for RA* users
June 23, 2009 for RA+ users
Notification of the selection results July 31, 2009 for RA* users
August 28, 2009 for RA+ users
Sign up of the agreement August 3, 2009 or later for RA* users
August 31, 2009 or later for RA+ users
2nd PI meeting/workshop Scheduled for early 2010
Submission of interim reports September 30, 2010

NB: "RA users" are those researchers who research on themes adopted by the Three Parties in a research announcement. RA users are divided into RA* users and RA+ users in a following way:"RA* users" are RA users who are engaged in research activities that concern calibration validation or algorithms, and "RA+ users" RA users who are engaged in research activities that concern models and data application.

For more information, please contact:

GOSAT Project Office
Center for Global Environmental Research
National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki
305-8506 Japan
Web page:
TEL: +81-29-850-2035 FAX: +81-29-850-2219

Acceptance time: Weekday (excluding Japanese national holidays) 10:00-17:00