The NDACC Steering Committee Meets in Tsukuba, Japan, Oct. 15-18


Only a few days after super-typhoon Hagibis hit Japan quite hard (Figs. 1, 2), the 2019 NDACC Steering Committee Meeting did take place in Tsukaba near Tokyo from Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 15, until Friday, Oct. 19.  Because of the typhoon, all flights to Japan were cancelled for at least one day. Therefore, the meeting was shifted by 1 ½ days and shortened. Still, many people were not able to travel; however, a good part of the presentations were done remotely via ZOOM.  The local organizers, Hideaki Nakajima from NIES and Akira Mizuno from Nagoya University, did a superb job hosting the meeting under difficult conditions and accommodating all kinds of last minute changes. Kathy Thompson, with new help from Susan McFadden, again made the impossible possible, re-organized the agenda, kept track of people, flights, action items, conference fees, and everything else.


Figure 1: Super Typhoon Hagibis approaching Japan on Oct. 11th 2019, 3 days before the planned start of the NDACC steering group meeting. Source:


Fig. 2: Japanese bullet trains flooded near Nagano by heavy rainfall from typhoon Hagibis, up to 1000 mm in 24 hours. Fortunately Tsukuba / the Tokyo area, only 200 km south-east of Nagano, were not affected to such a degree. Source: ,

The NDACC Steering Committee meeting brings together all major stakeholders to discuss NDACC business including station issues, current and future activities, and the general role and evolution of NDACC.  A substantial part of the meeting deals with maintaining and improving the NDACC website at, and the NDACC database at .

Highlights of the 2019 steering group meeting were:

  • the large progress with more up-to-date data sets and instrument metadata files in the NDACC database. To a large degree this happened thanks to Jeannette Wild, who chased many people before the meeting and presented the fruits via ZOOM. While there are always some stations to worry about, there has also been good news about several stations, e.g. Lauder in New Zealand (and the All Black Rugby team is also doing very well at the Rugby World Championship in Japan).
  • information about the improvements of the NDACC website made over the last year by Jeannette Wild and presented remotely via ZOOM at impossible times. Jeannette also informed about the planned move of the NDACC database from NOAA CPC to the NASA Langley DAAC
  • site visits (Figs. 3, 4) at the Japanese National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) of the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), which host an impressive set of atmospheric measurements, including ozone and aerosol profiles over many decades.
  • the Japanese style conference dinner with delicious Japanese food, as well as Japanese flute- and koto- (a type of Zither) music. A surprise guest at the dinner was Hideaki Nakane, a long-time Japanese member of the NDSC steering committee in the 1990s.


Fig. 3: NDACC steering group visiting the National Institute for Envionmental Studies (NIES) in Tsukuba, Japan.


Fig. 4: Site visit in FTIR lab at NIES.

Martine de Mazière from BIRA was confirmed for another three-year term as NDACC co-chair. NDACC is so well chaired and run by the famous four ladies of NDACC: Anne Thompson, Martine de Mazière, Jeannette Wild, and Kathy Thompson (now joined by Susan McFadden as number five). Martine followed most of the meeting remotely via zoom, and presented the European ACTRIS program (Aerosol, Cloud and Trace gas Research Infra-Structure) in which BIRA plays an important role. BIRA is already using NDACC ground-based data to validate atmospheric composition analyses calculated by ECWMF under CAMS (the European Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service). To hopefully improve data quality, also in NDACC, BIRA aims for central quality control and central processing, e.g. for UV-VIS data from MAX-DOAS instruments, or FTIR data. Such central processing is different from the general NDACC approach in the past, where stations, instruments and processing were very much driven by the PIs. Not all PIs agree with centralized approaches, and this will remain a topic for discussions also at future NDACC meetings.

After the official end of the meeting on Friday, Hideaki Nakajima and Akira Mizuno took a few remaining NDACC people on a private tour to a local sake brewery and to Tsukuba-San shrine and mountain. Hopefully our prayers at the shrine will be heard, and NDACCs future will be even clearer than the view from Tsukuba-San Mountain (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: View from Tsukuba-San Mountain.