The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) mission is to facilitate the analysis and prediction of Earth system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. The two overarching objectives of the WCRP are:

  • to determine the predictability of climate; and
  • to determine the effect of human activities on climate

The main foci of WCRP research are:

  • observing changes in the components of the Earth system (atmosphere, oceans, land and cryosphere) and in the interfaces between these components;
  • improving our knowledge and understanding of global and regional climate variability and change, and of the mechanisms responsible for this change;
  • assessing and attributing significant trends in global and regional climates;
  • developing and improving numerical models that are capable of simulating and assessing the climate system for a wide range of space and time scales; and
  • investigating the sensitivity of the climate system to natural and human-induced forcing and estimating the changes resulting from specific disturbing influences.

Recent progress in the understanding of climate system variability and change makes it possible to gauge its predictability, and to use this predictive knowledge in developing adaptation and mitigation strategies. Such strategies assist global communities in responding to the impacts of climate variability and change on major social and economic sectors including food security, energy and transport, environment, health and water resources.

What we do

WCRP organizes meetings, workshops and conferences to coordinate and facilitate climate research. The research itself is done by individual scientists working in national and regional institutes, laboratories and universities. WCRP committees, working groups and projects, assisted by the Joint Planning Staff (JPS), are the main vehicles for setting the research agenda and mobilizing the broader research community on specific activities.

WCRP utilizes a multidisciplinary approach, organizing large-scale observational and modelling projects and providing an international forum to align the efforts of thousands of climate scientists working to provide the best possible climate information. WCRP is currently developing an achievements and future plans summary document, building upon past strategic and implementation documents as well as a range of recent workshops and publications.

The World Climate Research Programme is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.