WCRP Scientific Objective 1

Our Goal

We will support and facilitate 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.

Coupled climate processes are fundamental to understanding, for example, variations in atmospheric and oceanic circulations; fluctuations and change in temperatures, salinity and precipitation; the trajectories of regional and global sea level rise; the ways in which extreme events are manifest in a non-stationary climate; the cycling of carbon and other chemical species between atmosphere, land and ocean; the dynamical, radiative and chemical interactions from the uppermost layers of the atmosphere to the deep oceans; and the evolution of regional climates. Closing the energy, water, and carbon budgets of these systems is integral to observing, assessing, and simulating climate change and variability, regionally and globally. Research focusing on laboratory science, instrument development, field experiments, paleoclimate proxy analyses, remote sensing technologies, and model innovation substantially contributes to the understanding of processes and mechanisms in every component of the climate system.

Our Scientific Emphases

Climate dynamics

In order to better understand the past evolution of climate and to anticipate future changes, we will improve our understanding of the drivers, interactions, and feedbacks that lead to global and regional changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulations. The profound nonlinearities of these systems continue to present critical emerging questions at a range of scales, from local to global.

Reservoirs and flows

The mechanisms responsible for radiative, hydrologic, cryospheric, and biogeochemical changes determine our ability to quantify the reservoirs and flows of energy, water, carbon, and other climate-relevant compounds. We will advance this quantification, within and between the sub-systems of the Earth system, as an important check on our evolving understanding of fundamental processes.