Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System

A new SCOSTEP Program for 2004-2008

Timeline of SCOSTEP's CAWSES Program

Although the STEP program recognized the need for an integrated approach, it was hindered in realizing an ambitious agenda because, during most of its existence, ISTP (International Solar-Terrestrial Program) satellite missions were not fully implemented. The ISTP program was envisioned to be a centerpiece of STEP, providing crucial multi-disciplinary data and models. Now, the situation is very much improved, as an unprecedented suite of spacecraft is presently observing the solar-terrestrial system. These spacecraft, which carry an array of new technology instruments, together with advances in theory and computer modeling, and ground-based observations in existing and new locations, have greatly improved our understanding of how the variable Sun drives changes in geospace, the atmosphere and possibly climate. Internationally, there are several plans for future solar-terrestrial space missions.

Several countries are proposing to implement substantial national programs in solar-terrestrial physics. CAWSES would help mobilize action on those proposals and offers an opportunity for voluntary coordination between their programs. A properly defined international SCOSTEP program would also help the science communities in nations without space programs, who have difficulty in implementing desired solar-terrestrial programs. Recent progress in Internet technology now facilitates effective international collaborations that will benefit CAWSES. The leveraging of intellectual resources within the framework of a properly posed SCOSTEP program would articulate new directions for future solar-terrestrial research involving observations, modeling and applications. CAWSES would help coordinate national activities in all these areas. Finally, the new technology available for efficient international communications offers unprecedented opportunity to involve scientists in developed and developing countries, and to provide educational opportunities for students at all levels. For those who now have difficulty with gaining on-line access to materials related to scientific programs, the availability of relatively inexpensive personal computers and high-capacity storage media (e.g. CD-ROMs) provide ways to extend educational benefits to students in all countries.

CAWSES Office, Center for Space Physics, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215 USA; Phone: 617/353-5990; FAX: 617/353-6463;