From Director

Director SHIOKAWA Kazuo

   Due to the rapid development of society and science, human activity has expanded into outer space and has made significant impact on Earth’s global environment. Thus, it is crucial to reconsider our new environment from a larger perspective, taking into account the relationship between the Earth and space. In 2015, the Institute for Space and Earth Environmental Research (ISEE) was established at Nagoya University for this objective. ISEE was the natural result of a joint collaboration effort among researchers across different disciplines. Our mission is to clarify the mechanisms and relationships between the Earth, the Sun, and cosmic space, considering it as a seamless system. We focus on helping solve issues related to our near-Earth environment and the expansion of human society toward space. ISEE also promotes various collaborative research projects as the only joint usage/research center in Japan that links space and earth sciences.

   Our living environment is composed of the interaction of various elements and evolves over time. Solar activity variations sometimes have a significant impact on our habitat and our society. Solar flare explosions that occur on the solar surface can severely disturb the Earth’s radiation environment and upper atmosphere, causing major disruptions to satellites, power, communications, aviation, and other infrastructure. We are also aware that long-term changes in solar activity may affect the Earth’s climate. Cosmic rays arriving from the far reaches of the universe can also influence our ecosystem, as cosmogenic isotopes in tree rings provide us with valuable information to explore past environments. It is also important to understand the mechanisms of climate change and extreme weather phenomena, as both may cause disasters on a global scale. For this purpose, it is necessary to clarify not only the greenhouse effect but also hydrological circulation, in which aerosols, clouds, and precipitation interact. Likewise, we need to comprehend the interaction between meteorological dynamics and the land–ocean ecosystem and the role played by solar influence.

   It is, therefore, necessary to encourage interdisciplinary research across different fields to explore the space–earth environment. ISEE aims to play a central role in promoting domestic and international research collaboration between scientists, as well as developing new disciplines on space–earth environmental research. For this purpose, we hope that many of you will support and cooperate with us to pave a new safe way for the future of humankind.