Report to the 1999 IUPAP General Assembly
Scostep is the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics established in 1966.
IUPAP is one of the partners in this committee together with URSI, Cospar, IUGG en IAU. Each of the partners appoints a bureau member. At present Frans W. Sluijter is the bureau member on behalf of IUPAP.
During the recent bureau meeting (July 19-20 in Chung-Li, ROC) a number of items were discussed. A Scostep WWW site, also including educational material was contemplated. This effort has to be seen in the framework of the so-called Capacity Building Program. Your representative was somewhat sceptical about the possibilities. A discussion was held on the long term planning for a future comprehensive program. Questions like what are science goals of Scostep, is Scostep still viable, where should efforts be concentrated, were posed, and discussed. The importance of its role to clarify the phenomena in the field of solar-terrestrial relationship starting from sun, interplanetary space, magnetosphere-ionosphere system, thermosphere, middle atmosphere, stratosphere, troposphere and the troposphere-ocean system was recognised. The new importance of the rise of the domain of space weather contributes highly to the importance of a better understanding. Here the forming of a true international community is of great importance. Scostep is well placed to be the focalpoint for this development.
Concern was voiced about the malfunctioning of Soho, a satellite specially developed for observation of the sun and meant to contribute to the understanding of the relation between phenomena on the sun and the conditions closer to our earth. This understanding is of high importance for communications and the functioning of satellites. The importance is further enhanced due to the rising activity of the sun. The work to be co-ordinated by Scostep is of a highly interdisciplinary nature. Hence, more than one IUPAP committee should be interested in its work. The interested scientist should keep an eye on the Scostep newsletter, published in print and on the www-site
Frans W. Sluijter