Report on SCOSTEP
SCOSTEP is the scientific committee on solar-terrestial physics of ICSU. SCOSTEP organizes and conducts international solar-terrestial physics programs of finite duration in cooperation with other ICSU bodies. Apart from IUPAP the following scientific organizations are represented on the bureau of SCOSTEP: URSI, IAGA, SCAR, COSPAR, IAU and IAMAS. For more details see http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SCOSTEP/scostep.html.
The main aim at present of SCOSTEP is the support and conduct of CAWSES (Climate And Weather in the Sun Earth System) This program of SCOSTEP was initiated three years ago and will last until 2008. CAWSES is an extended international program. The program has been set up to enhance our understanding of the space environment of the earth and its impact on life and society. Especially in view of the ongoing discussion on the discrimination between anthropomorphic and natural causes for climate change, the program has a high urgency and coordination between the relevant researchers is very much called for.
The program coordinates international activities in observation, modelling and theory in order to help enhance our understanding. One of the explicit aims in doing so is to have scientists from both developed and developing countries to participate as well as students at all levels. The program is coordinated by a steering committee under the chairwomanship of Sunanda Basu. There are four different themes. The first theme considers the solar influence on climate and is subdivided in two working groups: one on the assessment of evidence for the solar influence on climate, the other on investigations on mechanisms for this influence.
A second theme concerns the science and applications of space weather. The field is subdivided in seven working groups on subjects ranging from the enhanced resolution of GPS total electron content maps, magneto spheric observation, the solar sources of geoeffective disturbances, etc.
A third theme concerns atmospheric coupling processes as well in the middle atmosphere and the upper atmosphere. Also electromagnetic coupling in both ionosphere and magnetosphere form a subject.
The fourth theme concerns space climatology. Four sub themes are here under consideration: the solar irradiance variability, the near earth heliosphere, the radiation belt climatology and the climatological variations of the ionosphere and the upper atmosphere. CAWSES reports regularly on activities and progress in its publication CAWSES News http://www.bu.edu/cawses .
The bureau of SCOSTEP meets yearly. Last meeting was held in Taipei, Taiwan in the middle of May, 2005. The bureau will meet again in March, 2006 in Rio de Janeiro. Usually the meetings are held in connection with CAWSES activities. Members of the bureau assisted arranging the program of the STP-11 conference to be held there from 6 to 10 March, 2006
SCOSTEP is, through CAWSES, also instrumental in capacity building and education.
Eindhoven, November 7, 2005.
Frans W. Sluijter, IUPAP representative on the Bureau of SCOSTEP