WCRP Strategic Plan Cover finalWe are delighted to report that the WCRP Strategic Plan 2019-2028 has now been approved by all three WCRP sponsors, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Science Council (ISC) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO). The Plan, the result of nearly two years of community and stakeholder consultation, outlines WCRP's science strategy in response to society's growing need for decision-relevant, evidence-based climate information.

The Strategic Plan has four Scientific Objectives:

  • Fundamental understanding of the climate system - supporting and facilitating the advancement of sciences that enable an integrated and fundamental understanding of the climate, its variations, and its changes, as part of a coupled physical, biogeochemical, and socio-economic system.
  • Prediction of the near-term evolution of the climate system - pushing the frontiers of predictions and quantify the associated uncertainties for sub-seasonal to decadal time scales across all climate system components.
  • Long-term response of the climate system - quantifying the responses, feedbacks, and uncertainties intrinsic to the changing climate system on longer (decadal to centennial) timescales.
  • Bridging climate science and society - supporting innovation in the generation of decision-relevant information and knowledge about the evolving Earth system.

These Objectives are supported by enhanced support for a WCRP research community which embraces diversity, demands equality, and builds capacity for the future. They are also supported by the following essential elements: a hierarchy of simulation tools; sustained observations and reference data sets; open access to scientific data (observations and model simulations), assessment products, and science results; and high-end computing and data management.

JSC Chair, Detlef Stammer, spoke on behalf of the WCRP community, stating, “we are all very happy that the new WCRP Strategic Plan was approved by all three sponsors. This is a very important milestone on the way toward a new WCRP and opens the path toward the implementation of urgent new science and activities of the climate research community. At the same time, it acknowledges the excellent work the WCRP community, especially the previous JSC Chair Guy Brasseur and Vice-chair Amanda Lynch, did in identifying the future WCRP priorities and describing these in an outstanding layout. Congratulations to both and to the entire WCRP community. At the same time, thanks to all WCRP sponsors for their confidence and support."

Representatives of WCRP's three sponsors communicated their support of the Plan. Pavel Kabat, WMO Chief Scientist and Director of Research, in his role of also directing the WCRP Joint Planning Staff Office, congratulated the WCRP leadership on producing a Strategic Plan that looks to the future, "We will need to work more collaboratively and flexibly on addressing climate issues in the future and the WCRP Strategic Plan provides a foundation for this. WMO is committed to ensuring that WCRP continues to provide the climate science needed by society to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that will come with a changing climate. WCRP science will continue to underpin our responses in the context of the Paris Agreement of 2015, and will contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and multilateral environmental conventions. I congratulate the WCRP leadership on the Plan and look forward to working with them on its implementation."

Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO and Assistant Director General of UNESCO, looked to the role that the WCRP Strategic Plan will play in the coming years, “the new WCRP strategy will guide nations’ investments in Earth System and climate research. Also, it will inform the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Both these platforms will help WCRP and its sponsors to create a solid foundation for a new generation of oceanographic and climate services to society.”

Heide Hackman, ISC CEO, welcomed the WCRP Strategic Plan, “Rapid access to up-to-date knowledge on climate has become a necessity for societies and governments everywhere. With its long history of building global research networks, WCRP is a key player in much-needed efforts to ensure that policies respond to societies and communities’ expectations in times of climate change. The ISC welcomes the WCRP Strategic Plan’s ambition to contribute cutting-edge knowledge to achieve that crucial objective.”

The WCRP JSC is now working on implementing the Strategic Plan. That process began in May at a two-day dedicated Implementation Meeting and at the 40th Session of the JSC. The implementation process will involve substantial consultation, including at the WCRP Climate Science Week, held in collaboration with the AGU Fall Meeting 2019, where there will be a series of Town Halls and a Union Session. WCRP warmly welcomes you to attend.