Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan)

Contact: yu-ting chang



About Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan)

Since the 1960s, rapid industrial development has caused pollutants discharge to increase at double-digit rates within 40 years in Taiwan. Compounding the fact that industrial sites, vehicles and populations locate densely together, current per unit area air pollutant emission rate ranks highest among important nations (Table 1), leading to serious quality deterioration in Taiwan's environment. Suspended particles and ozone quantity often exceed the accepted health standard. Acidic rain also causes serious environmental problems. Yearly quantity of sulfate, nitrate and ammonium salt seeping through the soil by acidic rain and dry deposition can reach as high as 200 kilograms per hectare, one of the world's most seriously affected locations, affecting not only crops but also seriously impacting Taiwan's entire ecosystem. Aerosols scatter and absorb solar radiation, affects cloud and rainfall, possibly causing regional climatic change in Taiwan and even disturbing temperature and atmospheric circulation, ultimately impacting Taiwan's water resources. Most of major rivers in western Taiwan plains are moderately or severely polluted. The level of eutrophication in rivers, lakes and reservoirs is even more serious than deterioration of coastal water quality and ecosystem. The above issues need to be fully understood in order to find effective solutions. A well-equipped, high standard environmental change research institution is imperatively needed in Taiwan. Compared with other major countries in Asia, Taiwan falls noticeably behind to Japan, China even South Korea in environmental research. These three countries have national level environment research institute, Taiwan does not have a sizable environmental studies institute. In view of this condition, Academia Sinica Institute of Earth Sciences to set up “Environmental Change Research Project" in November 1999 under president Yuan T. Lee’s strong advocacy. Shaw-Chen Liu, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor, was hired as a Distinguished Research Fellow to lead planning of environmental trend research projects and build a world-class environmental changes research center. After four years of preparations, “Environmental Change Research Project” has steadily progressed. As of 2003 there are approximately 40 members, including the plan director, 4 research fellows, 12 postdoctoral research fellows, 2 administrative staff, and 22 research assistants. The Research Center for Environmental Changes officially established in January of 2004. The center's main building was located at second hall second floor of Institute of Earth Sciences, and also occupies parts of first hall’s basement. The total space approximately 350 Ping ( 12500 square footage). The center employs twenty Ph.D.-level and above research fellows, thirteen research assistants, five atmospheric chemistry and air pollutants laboratories. It is currently the best equipped and most advanced research institute in Taiwan. The Center also houses world class laboratories, like biogeochemistry laboratory. The center premises were recently expanded 550 Ping. The main office was moved to the 11th floor of newly build Humanities and Social Sciences building (HSSB).

1 job with Research Center for Environmental Changes, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan)