Over the last several decades the region extending from Java though the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia to Taiwan has seen massive economic growth. Consequently, air pollution levels have increased dramatically. At the same time, biomass burning has become an ever-increasing problem, further reducing air quality. Even so, at times this region can exhibit some of the lowest lower troposphere aerosol particle concentrations in the world. These sharp gradients present an excellent natural laboratory for studying aerosol-meteorology interaction in tropical to sub-tropical environments. While extremely interesting and complicated atmospheric phenomena occur throughout Southeast Asia, the scientific community is only beginning to recognize its importance to global climate change and atmospheric sciences as a whole.
Through a process with the US State Department and governments in Southeast Asia, NCAR Research Applications Laboratory, NASA AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) program, and the Office of Naval Research international field offices, an opportunity is arising for the mounting of an international atmospheric sciences project encompassing much of Southeast Asia . The proposed 7 South East Asian Studies (or 7 SEAS), will be a comprehensive interdisciplinary atmospheric sciences program with in-situ, remote sensing and modeling components. By working closely with in-region scientists and developing a wide-ranging South East Asian scientific data network, 7-SEAS’ primary goal of understanding the many facets of aerosol, meteorology and climate interaction is achievable.
See the 7-SEAS White Paper under "Reports" for further information.