SCOSTEP is tasked to organize organize long-term scientific programs in solar terrestrial physics. The program for 2020-2024 is Variability and Predictability of the Solar-Terrestrial Coupling (PRESTO). PRESTO was defined based on a community effort with numerous white papers submitted to the Committee for Definition of the Next Scientific Program (NSP) and two fora organized by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Beijing in 2018 and in Bern in February 2019. PRESTO's goals are to "address the predictability of 1) space weather on timescales from seconds to days and months, including processes at the Sun, in the heliosphere and in the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere, [and] 2) sub-seasonal to decadal and centennial variability of the Sun-Earth system, with a special focus on climate impacts and a link to the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Grand Challenge Near-Term Climate Predictions as well as the IPCC." (NSP Concept Text).

PRESTO Logo Contest Winner Announced

We are pleased to share the results of the PRESTO logo contest. A total of 37 clever designs were submitted for consideration.  After much thought, the PRESTO committee selected the design provided by Mr. Vishal Jagatsing Pawar.  Mr. Pawar is a Master's Degree Candidate in Atmospheric and Space Science at Pune University in Maharashtra, India.

Congratulations to Mr. Vishal Pawar and thanks to all who submitted a design.


Link to PRESTO description (pdf)

PRESTO is comprised of 3 Pillars:

Pillar 1. Sun, interplanetary space, and geospace
Pillar 2. Space weather and the Earth’s atmosphere
Pillar 3. Solar activity and its influence on the climate of the Earth System

Details are given in the ISSI-BJ Newsletter #13, also available at


In response to the current difficulties of hosting meetings in person, SCOSTEP-PRESTO will host online seminars to deliver the latest scientific topics and/or instructive review presentations on solar-terrestrial physics related to SCOSTEP's PRESTO program.

At this time, we are pleased to announce the first seminar. Please register for the seminar using the Zoom registration link below.

Title: A Challenge to Physics-based Prediction of Giant Solar Flares

Author: Kanya Kusano (Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research (ISEE), Nagoya University, Japan)

Date/time: May 26 (Tue), 2020, 12:00-13:00 UT

Zoom Registration URL

Solar flares are catastrophic explosions in the solar corona and may potentially cause a severe space weather disaster. However, because the onset mechanism of solar flares is not yet well elucidated, most of the flare forecasts in operation rely on empirical methods. We recently developed a new physics-based model, called the κ-scheme, for predicting giant solar flares as one of the major outcomes of the Project for Solar-Terrestrial Environment Prediction (PSTEP), which is the Japanese nation-wide project for space weather and space climate study. The κ-scheme is able to predict imminent giant solar flares through the critical condition of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instability triggered by magnetic reconnection. An analysis of the largest solar flares in solar cycle 24 indicates that the κ-scheme can provide precise information, including location and size, of possible giant solar flares with a small exception. Through this study, we also discovered that the magnetic twist flux density in the vicinity of the magnetic polarity inversion line (PIL) on the solar surface plays a crucial role in determining when, where, and how large solar flares may occur. Finally, we will discuss how important is the development of physics-based prediction to improve our predictive capability and the scientific understanding of solar-terrestrial system dynamics.


Grants for Meetings and Campaigns

The application deadline for the 2020 PRESTO Campaign and Meeting Grants has passed. Applications are now under review by the PRESTO officers. The accepted programs will be listed here after the review.


PRESTO Leadership

The following have generously agreed to serve as Chairs, Co-Chairs, and Pillar Leaders:
Chair: Ramon Edgardo Lopez (University of Texas at Arlington, USA)
Co-Chair: Katja Matthes (Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel and Christian-Albrechts Universitat zu Kiel, Germany)
Co-Chair: Jie Zhang (George Mason University, USA)
Pillar 1. Sun, interplanetary space, and geospace
Co-Leader: Allison Jaynes (University of Iowa, USA)
Co-Leader: Emilia Kilpua (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Co-Leader: Spiros Patsourakos (University of Ioannina, Greece)
Pillar 2. Space weather and the Earth’s atmosphere
Co-Leader: Loren Chang (National Central University, Taiwan)
Co-Leader: Duggirala Pallamraju (Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India)
Co-Leader: Nick Pedatella (High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA)
Pillar 3. Solar activity and its influence on the climate of the Earth System
Co-Leader: Odele Coddington (Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
Co-Leader: Jie Jiang (Beihang University, China)
Co-Leader: Eugene Rozanov (PMOD/WRC and IAC ETHZ, Switzerland)