Awards & Prizes

DATE2024.01.31 #Awards & Prizes

Ms. Haruka Okui (Department of Earth and Planetary Science) won JSPS Ikushi Prize

Disclaimer: machine translated by DeepL which may contain errors.

Ms. Haruka Okui

Ms. Haruka Okui, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, has received the JSPS Ikushi Prize.

The stratosphere, mesosphere, and lower thermosphere, collectively referred to as the middle atmosphere, are parts of the atmosphere extending over an altitude range of ~10 to 100 km. In particular, the mesosphere and lower thermosphere, where small-scale atmospheric gravity waves (hereafter referred to as gravity waves) with restoring force of buoyancy are dominant, have been a difficult area for atmospheric research because of limited research tools to capture them. On the other hand, as it is well known that the middle atmosphere variability largely affects the surface climate, elucidating its dynamics is essential also for improving the accuracy of seasonal forecasts and climate projection such as global warming. Using a high-resolution atmospheric general circulation model, Ms. Okui succeeded for the first time in the world in realistically reproducing the entire middle atmosphere, including gravity waves. After model validation using observation data of mesospheric gravity waves from the international joint global atmospheric radar network, she has clarified the mechanism of vertical coupling of the middle atmosphere and coupling between the northern and southern hemispheres by carefully analyzing the interaction between various atmospheric waves and mean flows using the model-reproduced data. Among these, she clearly showed how small-scale gravity waves destabilize the mean field and generate planetary-scale waves, how gravity waves with large group velocities change the mean field ahead of the planetary-scale waves to prevent their propagation and cause large-scale significant warming in the Arctic stratosphere, and how anomaly signals are transmitted from the Arctic stratosphere to the Antarctic upper mesosphere through the successive processes of generation, propagation and breaking of the planetary-scale waves and gravity waves. She also made a joint research at the University of Bath under the Graduate School of Science's GRASP program to validate her model simulation based on satellite observations of the stratosphere and to determine the distribution of gravity waves not captured by the satellite and the reason for their absence. These and other research achievements led to the award for "Research on the Role of Gravity Waves in Remote Coupling of the Middle Atmosphere Using a High-Resolution Atmospheric General Circulation Model”. We look forward to her continued success in the future.

JSPS Ikushi Prize

(Responsibility: Professor Kaoru Sato, Department of Earth and Planetary Science)