The man objectives of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) set at its inception and still valid today, are to determine the predictability of climate and to determine the effect of human activities on climate.

Since 1980, the WCRP has made enormous contributions to advancing climate science (25th Anniversary Brochure). As a result of WCRP efforts, it is now possible for climate scientists to monitor, simulate and project global climate with unprecedented accuracy so that climate information can be used for governance, in decision-making and in support of a wide range of practical end-user applications.

In 2005, after 25 years of serving science and society, the WCRP, in collaboration with the broader scientific community, developed and launched the WCRP Strategy Framework 2005-2015. Implementing this strategy will ensure that WCRP continues to work efficiently and effectively towards strengthening our knowledge and increasing our capabilities with regard to climate variability and change.

The WCRP Mission is to facilitate 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:

  1. to determine the predictability of climate; and

  2. to determine the effect of human activities on climate

Progress in understanding climate system variability and change makes it possible to address its predictability and to use this predictive knowledge in developing adaptation and mitigation strategies. Such strategies assist the 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.

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 among 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;

  • Investigating the sensitivity of the climate system to natural and human-induced forcing and estimating the changes resulting from specific disturbing influences.

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.