The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Lighthouse Activities are designed to be ambitious and transdisciplinary (integrating across WCRP and collaborating with partners) so that they can rapidly advance some of the new science, technologies, and institutional frameworks that are needed to more effectively manage climate risk and meet society’s urgent need for robust and actionable climate information.

This call is an invitation for the community to directly take part in the activities of the Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change (EPESC) Lighthouse Activity.

The formulation of robust policies for mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change requires good qualitative and quantitative understanding of how and why specific changes are unfolding in the Earth system, and what might happen in the future. A quantitative explanation of observed changes – through robust process-based detection and attribution – is also fundamental to confidence specification in climate assessments, predictions, and projections. However, the capacity to deliver these capabilities is very immature. The WCRP Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change (EPESC) Lighthouse Activity will address this gap. A first (online) workshop on the theme of “attribution of multi-annual to decadal changes in the climate system” was already organised in September 2021, with a short report available.

The overarching objective of this Lighthouse Activity is to:

Design, and take major steps toward delivery of, an integrated capability for quantitative observation, explanation, early warning, and prediction of Earth System change on global and regional scales, with a focus on multi-annual to decadal timescales. 

This includes three main themes, which are developed by three Working Groups; the bullet points indicate specific topics of interest to each group:

  • WG1: Observing and modelling Earth system change
    • Observational requirements (in situ and remote sensing) for measuring Earth System change
    • Data assimilation techniques suitable for Earth System change
    • Reanalysis methods for estimating Earth System change
  • WG2: Integrated attribution, prediction, and projection
    • Detection and attribution techniques and applications
    • Prediction and projection systems
    • Generation and analysis of large ensembles
    • Understanding changes in atmosphere and ocean circulation
  • WG3: Assessment of current and future hazards
    • Assessment of Hazard (e.g., tropical cyclone landfall, large-scale drought and/or wildfires) changes and their impacts
    • Process understanding of hazard changes, their causes, context and drivers.
    • Hazard predictability and likelihoods

These Working Groups are developing strategic links and activities with WCRP Core Projects and other Lighthouse Activities. One such example is joint activities on data assimilation for climate that are being planned together with the Digital Earths Lighthouse Activity, which will also have an open call for membership soon.

The WCRP Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change Lighthouse Activity is formed by a Scientific Steering Group comprised of the Lighthouse Activity co-chairs, the co-leads of each Working Group, and three additional members. Each Working Group is formed by approximately 10 members.

The WCRP Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change Lighthouse Activity invites interested researchers to nominate themselves for its Scientific Steering Group or Working Groups addressing the three themes (see the Explaining and Predicting Earth System Change webpages for more information on each theme).


  1. Scientific Steering Group Membership – Contribute scientific knowledge, experience and energy to achieve the goal of the Lighthouse Activity and provide guidance for the Working Groups, working with other WCRP activities and partners, as necessary.
  2. Working Group Membership - Contribute scientific knowledge and energy to meet the objectives and proposed outcomes of the Working Group, working with other members of the Working Group, the Lighthouse Activity Scientific Steering Group, other WCRP activities and partners, as necessary.

More information on the Lighthouse Structure and Membership is available here.

Time commitment

Meetings are expected to take place regularly, every 3-4 months for the Scientific Steering Group and every 2 months for the Working Groups, but this is at the discretion of the Scientific Steering Group co-chairs and Working Group co-leads. There may be times when there is more or less work, depending on the activities undertaken (e.g., a peak period may be associated with a workshop or paper published by the Working Group). Many meetings will be online, with some out-of-hours work required due to time zone coordination. It is envisioned that once every 18 months there will be a face-to-face meeting of all members of the Lighthouse Activity.


These are not paid roles.

How to apply

The call is now closed

The deadline for applications is 15 March 2022

Please contact Nico Caltabiano (WCRP Secretariat) should you have any questions (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).