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WCRP Grand Challenges

We are pleased to share the most recent WCRP Grand Science Challenges, developed through deliberations of the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) and based on a series of consultations over the past several years with WCRP sponsors, stakeholders and affiliate networks of scientists. The challenges represent areas of emphasis in scientific research, modelling, analysis and observations for WCRP and its affiliate projects in the coming decade. WCRP intends to promote these Grand Science Challenges through community-organized workshops, conferences and strategic planning meetings to identify exciting and high-priority research that requires international partnership and coordination, and that yields “actionable information” for decision makers.

We envision that these Grand Science Challenges will evolve with time, but they will continue to:

  • be both highly specific and highly focused, identifying a specific barrier preventing progress in a critical area of climate science;
  • enable the development of targeted research efforts with the likelihood of significant progress over 5-10 years, even if their ultimate success is uncertain;
  • enable the implementation of effective and measurable performance metrics;
  • be transformative - a Grand Challenge should bring the best minds to the table (voluntarily), building and strengthening communities of collaborative innovators, perhaps also extending beyond “in-house expertise”;
  • capture the public’s imagination - teams of renowned scientists working to solve pressing challenges; and 
  • offering compelling storylines to capture the interest of media and the public.