::: Monthly News

Taoyuan City, Central Weather Bureau and National Central University Sign Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring

Taoyuan City Mayor Wen-Tsan Cheng today (July 7) signed on behalf of the city the “Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring for Taoyuan City” with Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and National Central University (NCU). The signing was witnessed by Vice President Chau-Ron Wu from the National Academy of Marine Research (NAMR). Under the agreement, public-private sector partnerships, local/central government collaboration, domestic/international academic and research activities, and inter-agency partnerships can be used in the future for integration with international maritime and marine operations. The improvement to marine weather forecasting capabilities will help realize the vision of “Smart Marine Weather Services and Environmental Sustainability.”

Mayor Cheng noted that the 46 km of coastline in Taoyuan City encompassed the Xucuogang Important Wetland (wetland of national importance), Caotal Sand Dunes Geopark, Guansin Algal Reefs Ecosystem Wildlife Refuge, Xinwu Stone Weirs. These are all precious natural resources and cultural heritage sites in urgent need of protection. There has however been a significant increase in the heat content of the Earth’s oceans over the last fifty years or so. Between 1991 and 2015, the heat content of the sea has increased four-fold. The accelerated warming of the seas will lead to more climate extremes that give rise to abnormal storms and high-pressure systems. The increase in the intensity of coastal damage means that the impact of climate change is now being increasingly felt by businesses and coastal residents. The continued strengthening of disaster prevention capabilities is now more critical than ever in the face of coastal erosion and loss of national land.  Maritime information such as marine weather monitoring, marine weather forecasting, disaster early warning and information services are now needed more than ever to drive the development of the marine industries, blue economy, and energy policy. It is also used by government agencies to determine differences in climate trends so that industrial development strategies can be reviewed, adapted to climate change, and used to mitigate the potential threats posed by changes in the marine environment. A more proactive approach must also be taken to maximize the benefits from the harmonizing the demands of environmental protection and economic development.

CWB Director-General Ming-Dean Cheng said that his bureau has been investing in the development of technologies for marine/weather observation and forecasting for a long time. Observation, forecasting, and service systems are now being progressively put into place. Based on the marine weather information requirements for coastal regions defined by Taoyuan City Government, CWB will combine the funding, personnel and technology from its medium/long-term “Marine and Meteorology Disaster Prevention Service Program” with its experience from deployment of marine weather radars to deploy a long-range, shore-based, wave-current observation network for the city. Surveillance will be extended from near-shore to the open water to not only increase the early-warning time provided by marine environmental monitoring but also continuously monitor marine weather changes over an expanded region. The initiative will effectively compensate for the limited coverage provided by marine observation buoys.  Once this marine observation network is deployed, the real-time monitoring data obtained will provide more accurate, timely, and extensive marine weather information for a wide variety of applications including nearshore safety, marine disaster prevention, and response, as well as the development of new energy, shipping, and fishing industries. The private-public partnership will also spur the development of the blue economy by giving rise to more value-added service and application products using the monitoring data. This will help realize the vision of “Smart Marine Weather Services and Environmental Sustainability.”

The College of Earth Science and Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research at National Central University are two of the most specialized research units in Taiwan. Continued investments in technology R&D and scientific research have established NCU as one of the premier research institutions in the field of Earth observations. The marine remote sensing technology that will be used this time was the result of collaborative research and development between NCU and many European/American universities and research institutions. The remote sensing signal retrieval and analysis technique in particular was developed independently by NCU. These academic research results can now be directly applied to coastal monitoring in Taoyuan to provide real-time marine environmental monitoring data over a long period. This will in turn ensure the sustainability of applications such as coastal ecological conservation, resource rehabilitation, renewable energy development, and disaster prevention/mitigation/response.

 

NCU President Jing-Yang Jou said that Taoyuan’s coastline like most coastal regions around the world is now under threat from climate change, human activity, and economic development. The coastal environment is now changing at an increasingly rapid pace. The most important objective of government policies is to enhance the functionality of the coastal belt and improve the welfare of residents in coastal communities. NCUU is, therefore, combining the research capabilities of its faculties to develop sciences and critical technologies related to the coast in order to provide the city government with a scientific basis for its governance. President Chou also revealed that NCU has now come to an agreement with Taoyuan City Government on its coastal observation and research station at Xinwu. To promote marine environmental education, they will apply for funding under phase 2 of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan to jointly establish a marine environmental and scientific education center. A seaside space will be created to introduce the public of marine science, help them understand the characteristics of the sea, and see the current progress on rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems.

TYDEP Director-General Li-Teh Lu said that the three parties will begin collaborating on the deployment of the Taoyuan shore-based wave-current observation network. Six sites have been identified by representatives from participating agencies for the establishment of shore-based wave-current observation stations. CWB will be responsible for station construction, purchasing of equipment, data quality assurance, and information publication; City Hall fully backs CWB’s acquisition of land needed by the stations and for cable-laying. NCU will develop the necessary technologies for remote sensing and data analysis as well as cultivate technical personnel. A collaborative platform will be set up by the three parties for the discussion and sharing of information to satisfy the urgent demands from coastal environmental protection, ecological conservation, and disaster prevention/mitigation by Taoyuan City.

The Office of Coast Administration Construction, Taoyuan (TYOCA) emphasized that once the shore-based wave-current observation stations are completed, the range of nearshore remote sensing will be increased from the existing 14 sq.km. per station to 628 sq. km. If wave-current sensing technology in the HF/VHF bands is used then the monitoring of the sea surface may exceed a radius of 20 km. Spatial resolution will reach 200m and the observation cycle reduced to 30 minutes. Marine observations including important data such as surface waves and currents can be applied to simulating the dispersal of marine pollutants, drift prediction during search and rescue operations, and alerts for dangerous sea conditions. The effective reduction and prevention of disasters will in turn boost the overall economic benefits of the sea.

Attendees at today’s signing ceremony included Mayor Wen-tsan Cheng, CWB Director-General Ming-dean Cheng, NAMR Vice President Chao-rong Wu, NCU President Jing-yang Chou, Water Resources Agency (WRA) Chief Secretary Hong-pu Huang, Director Ren-jie Yang from the 2nd River Management Office of WRA, Director Jung-sheng Hsia from the Hsinchu Forest District Office of Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, General Manager Jen-hao Hsueh of Datan Power Plant, Taipower, Taoyuan Department of Water Resources Director-General Chen-wuing Liu, TYDEP Director-General Li-teh Liu, and TYOCA Director Li-chang Lin.

 

Taoyuan City, Central Weather Bureau and National Central University Sign Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring

 

Taoyuan City, Central Weather Bureau and National Central University Sign Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring

 

Taoyuan City, Central Weather Bureau and National Central University Sign Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring

 

Taoyuan City, Central Weather Bureau and National Central University Sign Collaboration Agreement on Coastal Environmental Monitoring