World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) facilitates analysis and prediction of Earth system change for use in a range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. WCRP aims to determine the predictability of climate and the effect of human activities on climate.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, United States field with orange lilies at the foot of the mountains in Cades Cove

The mission of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is to facilitate analysis and prediction of Earth’s climate system variability and change for use in an increasing range of practical applications of direct relevance, benefit and value to society. The overall objective of the WCRP is to develop the fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system and climate processes needed to determine to what extent climate can be predicted and the extent of man’s influence on climate.

WCRP was established in 1980 under the joint sponsorship of the International Council for Science (ICSU), our predecessor organization, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1993, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO also became a sponsor. Its main objectives are to determine both the predictability of climate and the effect of human activities on climate.

WCRP is the longest-running and only initiative solely dedicated to the coordination of international climate research. The Programme has been integral to developing fundamental knowledge of climate system variability, enabling predictive understanding and in reaching the conclusion that human activities are responsible for the majority of observed climate change.

WCRP has made enormous contributions to advancing climate science over the past 30 years. As a result of WCRP efforts, it is now possible for climate scientists to monitor, simulate and project global climate with unprecedented accuracy, and provide climate information for use in governance, decision-making and in support of a wide range of practical end-user applications.


⭐ The ISC and WCRP

Scientific guidance for WCRP is provided by the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC), which meets annually and consists of scientists selected by mutual agreement between the three sponsoring organizations (the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Science Council (ISC) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and representing climate-related disciplines in atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological and cryospheric sciences. The ISC is also consulted on the appointment of the WCRP’s Director. The three sponsors defined WCRP’s objectives and the JSC’s Terms of Reference in a 1993 Sponsors’ Agreement.


Image by Angela Loria on Unsplash

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